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Day 325: Mean It When You Say It

The Daily Word: Sunday, November 21st, 2021
Ezekiel 42:1-43:27
James 5:1-20
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 28:6-7
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes,” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment. – Jas. 5:12

Let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No”, “No.” James, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, is reiterating the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:

“But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” – Matt. 5:34-37

People in Jesus’ day were swearing by things that didn’t belong to them in an attempt to add credibility to their claims. Instead of saying yes or no, they would swear by heaven that something was true or false, as if heaven belonged to them. Jesus issued a rebuke: just say “yes” or “no,” and do what you say! Because anything more than this is “from the evil one” (v 37).

When you say “yes,” do you mean it? When you say “no,” do you mean it? I use this verse with our four small children all the time. When they say “yes” to doing something, they had better do it! And when they say “no” they didn’t do something else, they had better be telling the truth! And I invite them to call me on every instance where I don’t keep my word as well.

Say “yes” to the Lord. Whatever He is calling you to do, do it! And be aware of this: sometimes saying “yes” to the Lord means saying “no” to other people. It is impossible to please both God and man (Gal. 1:10). But at the end of your life, whether you said “yes” or “no” to other people will hold no weight next to whether or not you said “yes” to God. Keep your word as you pursue His word and do whatever He says, in Jesus’ name!


Father, help me to be a (wo)man of integrity and honesty. If You ask me to do something, I am going to do it. And if I promise You or someone else I am going to do something, help me to follow through. Tell me when to say “No” to other people so I have availability to say “Yes” to You, in Jesus’ name!

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.

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