Read Matthew 5:33-37
Summer is a great time to turn over a new leaf and perhaps make some resolutions. As the days get longer and the outdoors become more inviting, maybe you are considering some lifestyle changes related to weight or exercise. Or perhaps you’re picturing this summer as the perfect time to finally clean out that basement or garage and get organized. Maybe you’re thinking about a fresh return to some spiritual disciplines. If so, it may be tempting to go through some sort of complicated promise to God that you will be a different person.
Or, let’s take today’s reading in a different direction. You may be the kind of person who has been known to tell some pretty tall tales. When you are telling the truth, then, your listeners may find it difficult to recognize it. What kind of assurances do you need to give that your assertion is accurate?
As kids, my brothers and I often tried to add the “wow factor” to our stories by exaggerating the details of what had happened beyond reality. At other times, we made promises about what we would do that we never followed through on. We knew that about each other. When things were borderline unbelievable, because of our track record, we found ourselves needing to say things like, “I swear!” or “I swear on the Bible!” Perhaps the most sincere expression of a past reality or a future promise was when we swore “on a stack of Bibles.”
Jesus, however, wants us to simply be people of integrity. We should be people of our word. Our “yes” means “yes.” Our “no” means “no.” We need no other guarantee that what we are communicating is accurate. We need take no oath to demonstrate our sincere desire to follow through on a promise.
As you head into this summer with good intentions, will you be a person of integrity? In your daily interactions with others, will you be known as one who can be trusted? As one who always tells the truth? Be a person of integrity by being truthful about your description of the past and present and by being one who carries through on promises about the future!