Yes and No
12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation
Have you ever had someone not believe what you were telling them? Did you ever try and
convince them that you were telling the trust by saying something like, “I swear!” or, “I swear on my mother’s grave!” or, “I promise you that I am not lying!”
Do you think there might be a problem with this? What do you think that could be?
In our verses for today James exhorts us to “let our yes be yes and our no be no”. What
do you think he is getting at with that?
James has a view to a certain type of person. A person who is so consumed with God that his words could never be anything but the truth. This person knows that Satan is the father of lies and this person would never want to be on the side of Satan, so the always tells the truth.
This is the kind of person that shows that God is really good. If someone has to “swear”,
meaning, add extra emphasis on their words to try and convince someone that they are telling the
truth what does that say about the character of the person doing the telling?
James is saying that we should be so well known for always telling the truth that people
will simply believe what we say because we have never done otherwise. God always tells the
truth and he wants his followers to show the world what he is like in this way.
Read Matthew 5:33-37
• Have you ever been tempted to lie? Why is lying such a serious sin?
• How can you be known as someone who can be trusted?
Our Father, may we honor you with our words. May lying be ever far from our lips. We know
that it destroys relationships and we want to bring life and truth to all those we come in contact
with. Give us such integrity that our words can be believed without swearing or oath taking.
Thank you that we can trust your word and that you are eternally truthful. We love you. In
Jesus’ name, Amen.