Command of Christ # 8

Happy March! I can't believe all the beautiful flowers are already coming up!

This week's command is based off of Mt. 5:37, "Let your communication be yea, yea or nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." Now, this may sound like we are talking about horse calls, but the real command here is to Keep Your Word. In Jesus' time, they had elaborate ways of making promises so that they could easily get out of what they had promised. It would be like a kid promising with their fingers crossed behind their back and then saying they didn't have to do it because they had their 'fingers crossed.' Jesus is saying that if we say 'Yes' to something, then we should mean it and do it. If we say 'No', we should mean it also. When I was younger, my friends and I would share 'secrets' and make the other person 'pinky promise' that they wouldn't tell anyone. The people of Jesus' time were making 'pinky promises' rather than trusting each other to keep their word.

I was recently at a wedding and the bridesmaids wore hand-made jewelry. The bride made many of the pieces and she told her niece, who was in the wedding, that she would make her some. It was the night before the wedding and the jewelry for the niece hadn't been made yet. The niece was only 2 1/2 years old and I tried to reason with the bride at 10 o'clock at night that she needed to relax and that her niece wouldn't mind if she didn't make her the jewelry. My friend replied that she had told her niece that she would do it and so she wanted to do it. I really admired how she kept her word to her little niece even when her wedding was the next day and had everything else to think about. The next day, the little girl was running about showing everyone her jewelry. She was so happy to have special jewelry on and to be like the 'big girls.' The look of delight and excitement on her face confirmed to me the importance of keeping your word.

So how does this apply today, since we don't go around making oaths and promises everyday? We can apply this daily by obeying the principle to be truthful in all that we say. We need to say what we mean. We come up with words like a 'white' lie and other excuses to make deception look innocent. A lie is a premeditated use of words, actions, and attitudes to deceive another person. Lying is so evil in God's sight that we are told that lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Pr. 12:22).

One day we will give an account for everything we have done (II Cor. 5:10). The way we use or misuse our words is crucial: "But I say unto you, That every idle (useless/vain) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Mt. 12:36-37).

We know what it feels like when someone tells us they will do something and then they don't do it. It is often hard to forget and and can cause a wounded spirit. We would be wise to consider what we have told others we would do but have not done. Younger siblings can be especially hurt when you say you will do something with them and then don't do it.

-Have you made a promise to someone that you have not fulfilled?
-Do you tell 'half-truths' and 'white' lies to get your way or make yourself look better?
-Do you consider how your words will be received before you speak them?

"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor for we are one of another" (Eph. 5:4-5).

Blessings,
Amanda
(some notes adapted from the IBLP Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide)

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