James – Tuesday, April 7
Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.
When we think about what it means to swear we usually think in terms of cursing or the use of profanity. But that is not James’ meaning here. He is referring here to the practice of oath-taking.
Jesus taught the exact same concept in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:33-37). The point He made there was that our word should be our bond. We have no need to swear (make oaths) if we always tell the truth. For the true believer, our yes and no have meaning. We mean what we say and we say what we mean.
This was—and is—vital for us believers. We must be trustworthy, being men and women of complete integrity. This is of vital importance to God.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. What would change about your personal world if you were to apply this truth more consistently? What kinds of situations arise where you might be tempted to “swear on a stack of Bibles,” or some other such promise?
2. How trustworthy are you as a person? When you tell someone yes (“I’ll do it, I’ll be there”), to what degree do they believe that you are telling the truth? When you say no to that person, do they think you really mean it?