Yes, No, and the Truth
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5.33, 37)
Jesus preaches that when we give an answer it should be firm. He points out that when we give a reply or make a statement that we should make every effort to follow through with what we have said. We have no need to make oaths or swear that something is true because everything we say should have that firmness. That also means that if you would not swear it, you should not say it. This is to be true for little things, like “yes, I will pick up a loaf of bread”; and bigger things, like “yes, I will pay back this credit card”. If you would not swear it, you should not say it.
Enter the power of “I don’t know”. There are times when giving an answer of uncertainty is the right answer. “What is gopher wood”- “I don’t know”. Certainly, one should never lie! Revelation 21.8 says liars go to Hell and one should never desire that outcome! So, there comes a time when one must swallow their pride and admit: “I don’t know”. Be sure and firm on everything you affirm.
When we open our mouths to speak those who hear it should be so certain we are telling the truth that they consider our words as sure as oracles of God. Therefore, let us consider: Do you really mean all those words you sing? Sometimes we may need to sit out a verse or two. If you would not swear it, do not sing it. One I have trouble with is, “I’d like to stay here longer than man’s allotted days”. Not me! I don’t want to delay Heaven any longer than God deems necessary. So, I don’t sing it. (This is just for me, you sing what you want) Let what we say (or sing) be yes, or no- but, always true.