Got your attention?
This isn’t about foul language (perhaps for another post) but about the idea of whether someone trying to live by Biblical standards ought to, or not, swear by something. We’ve all heard this, or said this: “I swear on my mother’s grave” or “I swear on a stack of bibles”…or the like.
The pastor and author of the book of James calls this out in verses 5:12. He says let your yes be yes and your no be no. Jesus covers the topic himself in Matthew 5:34 asking us not to take any sort of oath. So why does this matter?
There’s a clue in the James passage in that if we are living in and following God’s will for our lives, we are living and operating in a truthful manner at all times. We have no need to bolster our word when our word is good enough.
It might be bit like saying to someone, “Well, to tell you the truth…” which when you think about it is a ridiculous thing to say. So, what were you about to tell me, a bold faced lie? Of course we expect in much of our daily transactional conversations with our closest friends, family and associates that he or she is going to be open and honest with us. The statement about promising to tell the truth in no way supports or enhances the statement to follow. We can just leave it out entirely.
This goes for swearing, too. This in no way adds to the assurance of someone that what follows is a true, legitimate and honest statement. What really shores up what you have to say is your persistent, consistent life style and character makes you worthy of being trusted.