Don’t Allow Your ‘Yes’ to be ‘Maybe’

by | Apr 1, 2013 | Man

Ever wonder why Jesus talks about the things He does? On occasion it seems odd to me the choices He makes. Take this for instance:

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

If I were to get to choose the contents of a book in the Bible, I might cover appropriate social media etiquette, and over-sharing in general. I would probably discuss when one should or shouldn’t wear Crocs (the answer is never). Home Owner Associations would also get some heavy ire in my writings. Upon further review, my sermon on the soapbox would be pretty weak compared to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He tends to preach on things that reveal a great deal about the heart.

At that time when Jesus was teaching, Hebrew lawmakers, the Pharisees and Saducees, were tweaking certain laws that may appear to be too “difficult” morally for modern times and making them more manageable for their current culture. Oaths were one of these things/

Lawmakers at that time would say that oaths were only binding based on what things were sworn by. Swear by Jerusalem = not binding, but if you swear towards Jerusalem = BINDING. Swear by the temple = not binding, but if you swear by the temple’s gold= BINDING!

Sounds a little like the differences between a promise and a pinky promise. Jesus was against every part of this. It was humanity bending truth to the point of breaking, God’s people abusing power to ease the difficulty from God’s law. It wasn’t just an “oath” problem; it was a truth problem.

Fast-forward a couple of thousand years, and things are no different. We can’t stand truth. We like things to be a bit more vague and ambiguous. We’ve gone from “Yes” or “No,” to “maybe” in everything. Maybe we’ll stay married. Maybe we’ll commit … as long as things feel right. Maybe we’ll join the church, as long as we find people that we get along with.

Jesus rejects relative truth. He rejects the concept of “sort-of committing.” There is no swearing by or swearing towards. There is “yes,” and there is “no.” There was a truth problem, and Jesus was exposing it.

Even today, we like our truth polished up and softened just to our liking. We like our news spun, our reality on television, our magazines airbrushed, and our inner-life crafted for the world to see one status update at a time. This is our world, and our truth on our terms. We like a truth we can manipulate to our liking.

How different things would be, if Scripture stated, “I am a way, a truth, and a life, and some people that are cool with that, can get to the Father with me.” Jesus is not “a truth,” He is THE TRUTH. His truth calls us to reject ambiguity and relativism and hold fast to the Truth.

The truth of Jesus is transformational. It redeems and renews our minds. Living a transformed life is not an optional calling. It means we must live out the truth in all things. Our “yes” must really mean “yes.”

Our word and commitments must be seen as such. The truth of Jesus transforms our view of life. Marriage, fatherhood, friendship, service, faith community, and absolutely everything else must be on the up and up.

Your word is an indication of your heart. How does your heart look? Does it keep its commitments? Does it stand firm on its convictions? Does it love sacrificially? Everything from promising to read your kid a book, to promising you’ll be faithful to your wife matters. It matters because you are building your life on truth.

Every time I read through Scripture and focus on the words of Jesus, I find Him constantly taking a commonplace issue, and moving it straight to the heart of what matters; the truth. Let us be truth keepers and protectors, and let us be proclaimers of how He has transformed us.

Jay Watson is the pastor of Life Community Church, in Nolensville, Tenn. His heart is for people, and in many ways, he’s a pastor’s pastor. Information about his church and online sermons can be found at knowgrowdo.com, and he can be found on Twitter @watsonjay.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era The Lord first began speaking to me about the release of seven abilities...

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

Many years ago, Jesus went up on a mountain, sat down, and spoke to the group he was with: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all...

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

In the past few years, the global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of many local churches. Friends from around the world have told me that many churches have closed their doors for good. Although most churches have not returned to their pre-pandemic attendance...

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle of the Azusa Street Revival.  Bishop William Joseph Seymour, was a...

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Once a year, I go to the doctor and get a check-up. And every time, one of the things they do is check my heart. A good thorough exam will reveal if there are any problems that need to be addressed before a heart condition arises. I believe we need to do the same...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Recently while in worship, I was talking to the Lord when this prophetic flow began to come forth. I took out my phone and pressed record. This is the transcription of that word I received: "God, I see the firebrands rising up. God, I see the firebrands rising up. I...

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

The best way to grow in the prophetic is to look at the past. As backwards as that sounds, Revelation 19:10 tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” In other translations, this is said, “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness...

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in...

RECENT ARTICLES

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first of three estimates for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Second-quarter inflation-adjusted (real) GDP fell at an annual rate of...
Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had cake for my birthday, which I celebrated recently. Strawberries with nuts are my favorite treats today. That was definitely not my choice in years past until I made some monumental decisions in about 2009. Not eating sugar...

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

I was walking along one of my favorite beaches, and it was turtle season. Early each morning, park services ride along the beach looking for new sea turtle nests. They record the nest's location, place stakes and rope off the location so that people do not disturb the...

Curt Landry: What Are the Dangers of Soul Ties?

Curt Landry: What Are the Dangers of Soul Ties?

Soul ties form when we act in accordance with the flesh when developing or growing in a relationship with another person. This could be any relationship formed or grown out of shame, guilt, embarrassment, pride, loneliness, doubt and the like. Soul ties can develop...

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Leave a Church

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Leave a Church

This pandemic season hasn’t been easy—but pastors have suffered in unique ways. Statistics show that between 20-30% of churchgoers stopped attending in 2020, and the bulk of those people have not returned. In many cases, they never said goodbye. Many of my best...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]