Journey With Jesus

Keep Your Word

At the time of this writing, trust in positions of authority in the United States government and justice system that were once revered for their integrity has been shattered. On nationally broadcast news programs, senior members of the FBI and Supreme Court nominees who claim to have integrity one moment and swear to tell the truth tell a bold face lie the next moment.

Even in ordinary conversations, it is common for people to say, “I swear to God,” or “in all honesty…” when they want to emphasize that what they are about to say is the real truth.

It is hard to know who is telling the truth when the idea of truth has become so distorted.

This kind of behavior is not new to our day. People have been breaking sworn oaths since the beginning of time. God knew that no nation could survive unless its system of justice was incorruptible. So, God addressed integrity in multiple places in the law.

In the Ten Commandments, God specifically addressed it when He said, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16 (NIV)).” He addressed it again when He said, “Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God…(Leviticus 19:12 (NIV)).” And, again He addressed it when He said, “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said (Numbers 30:2 (NIV)).”

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he directed us to be honest in our private dealings as well as our public statements.

Knowing that deception had become a way of life for many people, Jesus said God’s people must not give in to it. Jesus was saying if you always speak the truth, there shouldn’t be a need to swear an oath.

We break this command of Jesus by neglecting to tell the whole truth when we leave something out of a story. We break this command when we tell a fabricated version of the truth or a complete falsehood.

God warns us against deception. Even though deception is a way of life for many people, God’s people must not give in to it!

Jesus said your word alone should be enough.

How truthful is your word?

In what situations do you find yourself swearing or using phrases like, “in all honesty” or “to tell the truth?”

Why is it inappropriate to swear on God’s name?

1. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this directive?

2. What are you going to do about it?

3. Who are you going to tell?

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