One word comes to mind — Integrity. When I read this passage from Matthew about vows explained by Jesus, the word rings in my ears. What did Jesus say about vows? What did He mean when He said:
“Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No'”
In the verses below from Matthew 5, Jesus is very clear about making vows (promises). Our word closely relates to our name so lets make sure and keep them both unmarred.
What Did Jesus Say about Making Vows?
“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’
But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” – Matthew 5:33-37 NASB
Making & Keeping Promises
During the time of Christ, oaths and vows were common, but Jesus instructed his followers not to use them (see James 5:12). Jesus believed that oaths and vows were unnecessary because they led to trust breaches between people. Instead, Jesus taught us that people should always keep their word, regardless of whether they made an oath or vow.
How well do you keep your word?
We feel the need to end our statements with ‘I promise‘ nowadays, especially during election years. For instance, candidates often make promises during their campaigns that they later fail to keep when elected.
By telling the truth all the time, we won’t need to back up our words with promises or oaths.
Your “yes” should mean “yes” and your “no” should mean “no,” as Jesus said, so you will have fewer explanations to make later.
Practice makes perfect
It’s not rocket science to keep your word. It should become as automatic as being on time or doing your best.
The more you practice, the better you become at keeping your word, just as you would improve any other skill with practice. Additionally, when you practice something enough, it becomes second nature, and you will find it easier to do without thinking about it.
You can also achieve integrity by keeping your word, which is something many people today lack. Integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles.
As Roy T. Bennett once wrote,
“Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody’s watching, and doing as you say you would do.”
You can do it with Christ’s help.
Love in Christ
Note: If you would like information about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16 to learn more.