All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37 NIV
My youngest granddaughter is a little over one and half years old. Part of learning her own personality, is the freedom to say “No.” She says “no” to just about any question that you ask her, even if the answer would be “yes”. She says “no” to eating different types of foods and sometimes escalating to an emphatic “NO!” This means, “Pappy, I don’t want any more of that”. I find myself just saying “yes” to offset all of her “no’s.” I will even nod my head up and down with a “yes” while she is mimicking me with her “no” and swinging her head side to side.
In the immediate context of our verse today, Jesus was referring to swearing about what you will do in the future. With a loss of a good name and trust in people doing what they say they will do, people resort to a swear to raise the bar of belief. When we testify in court, we place our hand on the Bible and swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Some swear by their “dead mother in the grave”. Some say, “I swear to God”. Have you used swearing to get people to believe what your are saying?
Jesus was elevating his belief in our strength of character. Do what you say you will do, “Yes”. Don’t commit to what you are unable to do, “No”. Theses simple words establish the boundaries for our lives. Character and a good name are established by living out what you have committed to do. Be a man or woman of your word. Fulfill your “yes” and know when to say “no”.
In a broader context, learn to say “yes” to obedience and “no” to temptation. You may have to practice your “yes” to the Holy Spirit. My granddaughter has taught me that our default response is “no” to almost any question the Spirit may ask. What does saying “yes” to the Spirit of God look like for you?
Have you established your boundaries against sin with a “no”? Seriously, you may want to practice saying the word, “no”, when temptation thoughts pop into your head. Listen for the Spirit to help guide you. Having the thought is the battle with sin. Not saying “no” is like walking down the path of losing the battle.
I am nodding my head up and down for you today. “Yes” you can be victorious. “Yes” you can begin to do things differently even though you have failed before. “Yes” you can learn to be more obedient and less rebellious to the leading of the Spirit. God is for you, so let your “yes” be “yes”.
Blessings love y’all