“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’
34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne;
35 or by the earth, because it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Great King.
36 and do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.
37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Buy the Truth, and never sell it!
This proverb seems more relevant than ever. (Prov 23:23) In an era of fake news, attacks on journalists, “alternative facts”, spin, propaganda, media manipulation, and “the big lie,” it’s hard to know who to believe. Our politics is severely polarised by mistrust. We choose our own news bubble or favourite social media sources. We are at risk of being misled by leaders and influencers who sound convincing, but end up causing us harm when we trust things that are not true.
To give our words more weight, we enhance them with oaths, or promises: “honestly,” “on my word of honour,” “in truth,” “my oath,” “I swear,” or “fair dinkum!”
The man was buying our old car. He needed to know that I was honest. He didn’t want to have the car repossessed if I still owed money on it. Eventually, he concluded I was trustworthy. Then he asked me to write a receipt for half the sale price to reduce his sales tax bill! That would have proved that I was dishonest! Then I understood that integrity means being the same “all the way through,” being honest all the time!
Jesus says, “Let your “yes” mean yes, and your “no” mean no! Just tell the truth all the time!”
Geoff Francis is a retired General Practitioner, and the author and editor of this website.