All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from evil!
(Mathew 5, 37)
Is your word reliable? Do you keep what you say? Is a simple “yes” or “no” sufficient? Have you ever sworn something but never kept your word? Are you trustworthy?
Jesus defends himself against people who swear something and then fail to keep it. People who promise something and then don't want to remember about it. Jesus defends himself against hypocrites. Jesus wants us to be honest with each other. Our word should be as reliable as if it was promised with an oath.
For example, children always expect this honesty. If mom or dad or grandparents promise something, the children will take it steadfast. This is part of the child's basic trust. But if adults don't keep their promise, it's becoming a major breach of trust.
Unfortunately, I experience breaches of trust again and again. Politicians promise something that they don't keep. Advertising promises something which it cannot keep. Even promises with a signature can become worthless. For example, in the promise of a marriage.
When Jesus Christ says that a simple “Yes” or a “No” should be enough, it is very important! Because with him the "Yes" counts. For him, the "No" counts. What Jesus Christ says is absolutely reliable. I can totally rely on him. His word is honest and reliable.
It is reliable when he says: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 8, 12) His warning is also reliable: "But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word which has been spoken.” (Mathew 12, 36)
Our words can have a great impact. They can do great damage. They can destroy trust. They can discourage people. They can cause despair. But they can also do a lot of good. Our words can help people find hope again. They can create love and trust again. They can even become a lifesaver. With the Lord Jesus I can learn that words can feel like “water in a desert”. Like a light in the dark. Like a lifeboat in stormy seas.
I encourage all of us, dear readers, to be careful with the words we say. I hope that we can become reliable and honest partners in politics, in business, in our families. I hope that there is no place in our words for lies or for deceit. We Christians should be reliable examples in both life and in speech. Had the apostle Paul known “social media”, he would have “tweeted” no doubt: No fake news, please! “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful in building up others according to their needs. In order to benefit those who listen. And do not generate grieve to the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4, 29 + 30)