Text: Matthew 5:31-37
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
– Matthew 5:37
Our word should be enough; we don’t need to pull the Lord’s name into any promise we’re making. In these verses we see many admonitions against taking oaths and making promises in God’s name—or the name of anything else, for that matter.
Like much of Scripture, these words can be enough to make us feel very small, insignificant even—and it’s appropriate for us to understand our smallness in light of a great, all-powerful God. These verses are basically reminding us that we have neither the authority nor the ability to speak for God, Heaven, or Earth. We don’t even have the ability to promise on our own head, because we can’t make a miniscule little hair turn black or white!
But, we also remember how significant we are to our heavenly Father. We remember that God cares so deeply for us that He makes us promises that last an eternity. His promises to us are so binding, it is clear He takes oaths very seriously! God’s promises last, they are unchanging, and they are not arrived at lightly. It makes sense that He warns us about how we make promises and forbids us to invoke His name when doing so.
Scripture tells us that we should simply give our word and that is it.
I think this is for our protection, as are so many things in Scripture. The purpose is not to make us feel insignificant, but to show how magnificent our God is. He is gracious in telling us not to consider an oath carelessly or invoke His name for something He may have no interest in. This keeps His name untarnished as well as our own.
Using the Lord’s name in vain, for our own advancement or out of a misappropriated sense of power, is nasty, unwise, and forbidden. As women who follow Jesus and rely on His daily and saving grace, let’s simply let our yes be yes and our no be no.