New Testament Journey Day 16 – Matthew 5:33-37 – Jesus Teaches About Vows.
In this scripture Jesus is emphasizing the importance of telling the truth. People were breaking vows and using sacred language casually and carelessly. Keeping vows and promises is important; it builds trust and makes committed human relationships possible. The bible condemns making vows or taking oaths casually, giving your word while the whole time knowing that you won’t keep it, or swearing falsely in God’s name. Vows were common in that time, but Jesus told his followers not to use them – their word alone should be enough. Are you a person of your word? Truthfulness seems so rare these days that we feel we must end our statements with “I promise”. If we tell the truth all the time, we will have less pressure to back up our words with an oath or promise. That was taken from my Life Application Study Bible. Good stuff. And this is what came to my mind as I read and pondered….
Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye – that’s how it starts out as kids on the playground. It transforms into “I swear!” And sometimes .. “I swear on my life.”…
The bible says in verse 37: Just say a simple, “Yes I will, or No, I won’t.” Anything beyond that is from the evil one. What God is saying here is “Keep your word!” Say what you’ll do, do what you say.
First I thought of children… how many times have you heard them say “But you promised?!?!” Parents, in an effort to appease your child – or shut them up – do NOT promise something you don’t intend to fully carry out. Teach them at a young age the importance of keeping you word. It helps them learn to build trust in their formative years.
And this is where it hit a little close to home for me… and likely many others reading. End of last year I was convicted that this year, as my motto is to “Love Like Jesus” – one way to do that is to carry through with what I say I’ll do. You’ve been there – you see old friends and you say “I’ll call, we’ll get together.” And in the midst of working over 40 hours a week, running a women’s ministry, a home, a family, friends… time is stretched and there are simply not enough hours in the day.
What about when the Lord lays it on your heart to reach out to someone and offer to do something. And you do, but it takes forever… because you don’t make it to the post office that day, and you think “tomorrow” but tomorrow comes and goes and in your mind it’s been a couple of days, but in reality – a week (or two). I gave away my books in December and was bound and determined I would get to the post office and get those mailed timely. For the most part I did – but it was a struggle. The post office is closed when I go to work, and when I come. And most days I don’t leave for lunch. I took up donations for the Hillsboro High School Needs closet last year at a Women’s event, and then COVID hit. I’ve been promising to get those to Angie for way too long – it’s convicting me – I WILL get those there this week. I bought a friend a gift when her father passed, it sat on my dining room table for 2 weeks – it should not have sat there for more than 2 days. I took it to her yesterday. This morning in the shower (where my mind is the stillest and God speaks to my heart most often) after reading the scripture and thinking of how it relates to me, I asked God to reveal to me any thing I said I’d do, that I haven’t done yet. Anyone I may have let down without realizing it. Not that my heart doesn’t want to love others in acts and deeds – but because I tend to over extend myself. This week, all of my “I want to..” will become “I did”. And moving forward, even though my heart may be saying “Offer up! Offer up!” (Because I love people like that) my words won’t be spoken unless time permits action. Trust. It’s imperative. In a world filled with so many lies, I want to be known as a woman of my word. When I tell you I’ll do something – I want you to know I will. I don’t want people to remember me as the woman who said she would, but never did. If you are someone I made a promise to as I over-extended myself and you haven’t seen the fruition yet, you soon will!!
How about you? Are you a man or woman of your word? Take time today to do some inner reflection. Ask God to reveal t you any areas that need to be improved upon in regard to simply saying “yes” or “no” and then, keeping your word.
Happy Monday Friends! Have a blessed start to your week!