"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." - Matthew 5:37
How often have we said 'yes' to Jesus?
How often have we said 'no' to ourselves?
How often have we followed through with what we have said?
Jesus made it clear that our yes and our no is enough to satisfy the binding requirement. Many Christians avoid making solemn vows before the Lord for fear of not fulfilling them, and when we so frivolously fire of promises to God in this simplified manner of 'yes' and 'no', we actually presume that our words are not binding! This is contrary to Scripture. What we say is what we mean. Do we ever wonder why God does not fulfill His Word in us when we do not fulfill our word to Him? It is for this reason that the Bible teaches us to control our tongue (James 3:2-12) and that it is the wise who are slow to utter anything except that which they are resolved. (Proverbs 15:2)
"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." - Proverbs 21:23
By our words we have the power to tear down and to build up, to establish our way in either truth or falsehood, and by our words we will be judged. The Bible also teaches us that out of our mouths cannot proceed both good and evil, just as a good tree cannot produce bad fruit or a fresh stream cannot pour forth salt water. He who controls his tongue is a perfect man (James 3:2).
Our Lord Jesus is kind and compassionate, gracious to forgive, however, the Lord also is gracious in warning us of the danger of an unrestrained tongue. Such a highly exalted Savior is worthy of praise! For He not only forgives our sins, but is involved in the work of sanctifying and perfecting His redeemed.
Just as He warned us on the Mount about our 'yes' and our 'no', so He leaves us another confirming and serious exhortation by the pen of His servant James:
"Above all, my brothers, do not swear - not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your 'Yes' be yes, and your 'No', no, or you will be condemned." - James 5:12
Dear Heavenly Father,
I beseech You to take tight reign of my tongue;
Submitting myself to Your yoke while I'm young.
I ask for Your grace and Your patience towards me,
I ask for Your strength and Your power to free.
And if I do stumble and say what is wrong,
I'll rise once again to the fight and be strong.
I know by Your grace that this battle will be won,
By faith in Your Word, in Your Spirit, in Your Son.