Matthew 5:37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
James 5:12, NIV: “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Otherwise you will be condemned.”
I have read these scripture before and didn’t quite grasp what they meant, but last night I saw an example.
I was watching the show, Frasier, and Roz was trying to set Frasier up on a date. Her initial plan failed but then Kenny walked into the coffee shop and just happened to ask Frasier if he would like to help entertain his cousin, Liz, that evening.
Frasier immediately looks at Roz and she says “I swear to God, I did not plan this”. Come to find out, she actually was in on it with Kenny.
It made me think of these scriptures and I realized that it’s about being a man or woman of your word. That people know when you simply say “yes” or “no”, you mean it. This makes you a person of integrity, a person who can be depended on.
Which then makes me think that when someone says “I swear on my mother’s grave” or “I swear to God” we should be very skeptical of their honesty.
From the evil one or being condemned???
If we feel we need to back up a “yes” with anything else then maybe we aren’t actually very honest people in our everyday life.
If we feel we need to back up a “no” with anything else then maybe we need to work on issues such as guilt or shame which can come when we don’t please everyone.
It’s amazing how one verse can be so deep and even though I see this message today, God can show me even more in the future with this very same verse.