Does Our Word Matter Any More?

In Matthew 5:37 Christ urged His followers towards honesty.  “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”  Why is it that we have forgotten that?

From what I hear, a handshake was all you needed to seal a deal back in my grandparents’ day.  But apparently the early Christian’s didn’t have this same example of honesty to live up to.  In fact a smarter guy whose blog I read before typing this one said, “The Pharisees interpreted” the Old Testament Law “to mean that ONLY when you made an oath did you have to tell the truth, and even then, it only had to be a certain kind of oath. That is not at all what God meant.”

Where is it that we started to cross our fingers behind our backs?  Why do we need to have countless pages of agreements, contracts, and legal documents to get each other to stick to our word?

I remember standing in front of friends and family nearly two years ago to this day with Brittany as we prepared to become husband and wife  The Pastor mentioned to the audience that 51% of marriages in America end in divorce.  It’s because one or both partners have decided to go back on their word to “love, honor, and cherish” each other.

I’m learning more and more that my word means a great deal.  It means a lot to the people in my life and it means more to my Savior.  My boss taught me that with his honest life style.  When I first came to Teen Quest it was easy for me to back out on speaking engagements, or blow off  an offer I extended to a friend.  It’s getting easier and easier (and more enjoyable) to stick to my word as I see his example.

What about you?  Do you stop to think of the eyes of younger people that are looking in your direction?  Lets open this up for discussion.  What do you think about this topic?  What are some ways you’ve realized you have to “let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’”?  What are some steps you took to make it easier for you to stick to your word?

Comments (4)

Overcommitment is a huge issue with this. Sometimes we attempt to do that which we desire, even to please God, but find out that we have recklessly committed to do something that we cannot do. Although be it for the attempt of righteousness, committing to do things that we do not have the power, time, or resources to do conditions us to go back on our word. Hence, good intentions can produce bad habits. I have had a problem with this myself. I have to submit myself to Eccl.5:4-6 quite often:

Ecc 5:4 When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.
Ecc 5:5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
Ecc 5:6 Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake.

Hence, God would rather us not promise a righteous deed that we cannot do for this in and of itself is unrighteous defeating the accomplished hope of the original effort.

Keeping our word. Hummm. Maybe the reason I don’t commit to anything is cause I’m afraid I’m not going to keep my word. So that creates a whole new issue. The fact that I don’t want to say no to anyone so I put folks off until I can figure out what is the best thing to commit to.
Something can’t be right with that.

That’s a great thought Ben. Over commitment is a huge problem. People have a hard time saying no and then they find themselves stuck doing things that they have the wrong heart about. Thanks so much for your thoughts man. We love you and your ministry.

That’s sort of the opposite end of the spectrum from Ben’s reply. We could either over commit ourselves, or not commit ourselves at all. I tend to lean more towards not committing myself until the very last minute. Some times that doesn’t work so great.

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