Monday, March 9, 2015

The Commands of Jesus: Do Not Swear

[This is the fifth in a series of articles about The Commands of Jesus.]

This story is NOT about using "colorful" words in our speech. No. This command from Jesus is not to swear as in, "I swear by God in heaven" or "I swear on my mother's grave." It's about being honest and truthful in the things we say.

Do you know people who tell you one thing yet act out another? Maybe they tell you that they are your best friend and then the next day they steal your boyfriend or girlfriend. Would you trust them, even if they swore on a stack of Bibles? Hmm.

Jesus wants us to live honestly and truthfully. Look at the picture above. It was taken in 1985 when Ronald Reagan was "sworn in" as our 40th president. If you examine his life, the fruit of his tree, did he live it honestly and truthfully? Many would say yes. Would he then have really had to "swear" that he would perform his duties? Hmm.

How about you and me? How do WE live our lives? DO we live honestly and truthfully. When we say we are going to do something, do we do it? Is our word our bond? When we promise something to someone, do we deliver?

How about when we get married? Don't we promise God that we will love, honor, cherish and obey our spouses? If we truly lived as Jesus commanded us would be no need for divorce lawyers. There would be no divorces if we lived up to our promises . . . in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer.

33 “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.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil." - Matthew 5:33-37

"Do you swear to tell the truth? The WHOLE truth? And nothing BUT the truth? So help you God?" Do you take that approach in how you live your life/ Do you always answer truthfully and never lie? That's what Jesus wants us to do. That is his command to us. He wants our "yes" to be a yes. He wants us to live in such a way so that people will KNOW we are telling the truth because we have always . . . ALWAYS told the truth.

Honesty - Billy Joel

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