Integrity and Credibility

Read

Matthew 5:34-37 (NIV)
34But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Reflect

Have you ever been in a conversation with somebody and you didn’t quite believe what he or she was saying? Maybe this person has a history of exaggerating the truth a little bit to make the stories seem cooler. Or perhaps this person has been known to make promises that are never kept.

Whatever the reason, you feel that this person’s story lacks credibility. Sensing your disbelief, he or she says, “Right hand to God that’s what happened,” or, “I swear on a stack of Bibles that’s the truth.”

Do these phrases annoy you? If so, you’re not alone. Jesus doesn’t care for stuff like that either. First of all, it’s demeaning to God. But Jesus also points out that if you have to resort to calling on God’s name as a way to convince people to believe what you’re saying, perhaps you’re not a person of integrity.

Jesus simply says, “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.” In other words, people should believe what you are saying because you always speak with truth and honesty. People should be able to trust you because you never gossip and you are always faithful to your promises.

Respond

Are you a person of integrity? Do your words have credibility? Can people simply take you at your word because your word is good? Consider the words you are about to say before you say them.

Relate

If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.