Our Mouths Reveal Our Motives

Have you ever had to Abandon Deceit? As Jesus shares in Matthew 5:33-37 He says, again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ Matthew 5:33~(ESV) Jesus is referring to taking an oath in which we use the Lord’s name as our guarantee, and then breaking it. Back to Leviticus 19:12~Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. (NIV) God says to us I am holy, so don’t drag my name through the mud.

Well that seems relevant today, right? Christ Jesus calling out some rabbis who’d developed a way to sidestep this command. They taught that swearing by God’s name was binding, but swearing by heaven, earth, Jerusalem or insert here, was a not so binding loophole. So, be emphatic to get our way, then we can change our mind because we weren’t swearing by God. For us it’d be like saying such things as I swear on my mother’s grave or pretend your seven years old again and say this with me, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, or give me a stack of Bibles. However, Jesus says in Matthew 5:34-36~But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. (ESV) Ms. Clairol notwithstanding, ladies, you cannot do it on your own.

As an aside, most people begin to show grey hairs in their 30s, and Christ Jesus says righteous people don’t need to guarantee their word with an oath because when they say Yes, that settles it. Many of us grew up in a day and time when the words of John D. Rockefeller Jr. rang true. He said:  I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond: that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth. Jesus says in Matthew 5:37~All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (ESV) So are we driven by the truth? Is our Yes, to be believed? Some believers take this to mean we must refuse to even take an oath in a court of law. What Christ Jesus is stressing is the importance of always telling the truth. 

Every believer and faith practitioner ought to have the singular purpose of walking in the Way of Righteousness as we abandon deceit. Why not take some time today and ask God to reveal if there is a place that needs some reorganizing, or cleaning out. We all have closets that get piled up, and filled with stuff, ask the Lord to help you with a little spring cleaning.

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