A Life of Integrity (Through the Gospels)
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King" ^Matthew 5:33-35. (Click to read entire passage)
Why do people have to swear or make a promise? Most of the times, it’s because they lack the integrity and character for people to simply believe them at their word.
Swearing and making an oath takes place when someone has to overcompensate to get people to believe them. So why does Jesus say here that people of the Kingdom should not make an oath to others? Jesus wants our lives to be filled with so much integrity that people will take us at our words.
Growing up I had to “swear to God” all the time. For my friends who didn’t believe in God, I had to “swear on my mom” to get my friends to believe me. Why? Because I used to lie so much. My lifestyle and actions proved to people that I was not trustworthy of my words. This is exactly what Jesus does not want us to be.
When someone bares the name of Christ, their beliefs, words and actions ought to align into one congruent testimony. Do people believe you? Do you find yourself having to overextend yourself to have people take you at your word? Jesus is talking to you in this passage. When Jesus says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37), He is talking about people who lack the integrity and character of Christ. Today, make a commitment to let your actions align with your words. Let your life look like Jesus!