Let Your Yes be Yes and Your No, No

The follower of Jesus Christ must be a truth-teller. Certainly, the LORD also required His people to tell the truth under the Old Covenant. They often swore oaths in the name of the LORD to ensure that what they said was true. “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name” (Deuteronomy 6:13). What was encouraged under the Old Covenant was prohibited by the Mediator of the New Covenant (Matthew 5:33-37). “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ “But I say to you, do not swear at all…”
The swearing of oaths was greatly misused, and Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 23:16-22. That the follower of Christ must always tell the truth seems to the point of this passage. It should not require the swearing of an oath to ensure the veracity of our statements. We are equally obligated to tell the truth whether under oath in court or filling our tax return. Saying “I promise” or “Cross my heart, hope to die” should not signal a greater commitment to truth-telling. We must let our “Yes” be “Yes,” and our “No,” “No.” No additional words should be required to get the truth out of us!