Sunday, February 16, 2014

Watch Your Nose! - February 16, 2014

Matthew 5:33-37 (New International Reader's Version)
33 "Again, you have heard what was said to your people long ago. They were told, 'Do not break the promises you make to the Lord. Keep the oaths you have made to him.'

34 But here is what I tell you. Do not make any promises like that at all. Do not make them in the name of heaven. That is God's throne. 35 Do not make them in the name of the earth. That is the stool for God's feet. Do not make them in the name of Jerusalem. That is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not take an oath in the name of your head. You can't make even one hair white or black.

37 "Just let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes.' Let your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more than this comes from the evil one.

James 5:12 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
12Above all things, my brothers and sisters, do not take an oath on anything in heaven or on earth. Do not take any oath. If you mean yes, say yes. If you mean no, say no. Do this so that you won’t be condemned.

As we all remember, Pinocchio was the puppet whose nose grew every time he told a lie. If you listen to many current politicians running for political office, there are plenty of "Pinocchios" to be passed around. Telling the truth and keeping promises have been in very short supply, in our political system, and in our world in general, but God has placed a very high value on being truthful and making promises. Jesus even brought up the topic during his Sermon on the Mount.

As noted above, he cautioned all to not make oaths or promises. Later in the Book of James we learned that breaking them could lead to our being condemned by God, but it sure seems that many people in our world are very unfamiliar with these passages in the Bible. If they were, they would be far more careful in what they say and what they promise.

God has made it simple for us to be truthful at all times and in all things, and it would be wise if we would pass this on to our children and all those we have influence over. It is simply this, "Let your YES be YES, and your NO be NO". In other words, if you say something, mean it. If you say you will do something, do it. Make it a habit, a character trait or yours, to always be truthful in anything you do.

We all need to be men and women of honesty and integrity by building the foundation of our lives on the truth. God is truth, and our world would be far better if we all followed His lead.

Image "Frightened Pinocchio watches his nose grow" from Walt Disney's, Pinocchio, 1940

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