But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Matthew 5:37 (NKJV)
I am convinced that we are too willing to compromise on the truth. Too often our word is no good. Either we deal in half truths or we make statements or even commitments that we later go back on. This is not how Jesus lived. He spoke the truth even when it hurt people, even when it made them mad, even when it got Him killed. Moreover He stood by his statements and commitments. He didn't back down. One small example of this is found in Matthew 16:1-4. Jesus had already told the Pharisees that they would not be given a sign in Matthew 12:38-40. In this passage He sticks to His statement and repeats His conviction that the only sign they would receive was the sign of Jonah. How refreshing! Jesus was a man of His word.
How often do you practice subtle deception and justify it by claiming that what you said wasn't really a lie? Just because a statement is in the same general area as truth doesn't make it true enough to come out of a Christian's mouth. How often do you fail to stick to or live up to your words? How often do you make excuses to back out of commitments? Reflect Christ in this as in all ways. "Let you 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'," Christians. Anything other than this originates from the evil one.
For further reading...
- Matthew 5:33-37- In context, this passage is about taking oaths. I think that makes the point even stronger when it comes to our financial commitments as oaths would have been commonly used in reference to these.
- Matthew 12:38-40 & 16:1-4- Read how Jesus stuck to His word.
- Matthew 5-7 & Matthew 15:1-20- Some examples of Jesus speaking unpopular truths.