“Again, the law of Moses says, ‘You shall not break your vows to God but must fulfill them all.’ But I say: Don’t make any vows! And even to say ‘By heavens!’ is a sacred vow to God, for the heavens are God’s throne. And if you say ‘By the earth!’ it is a sacred vow, for the earth is his footstool. And don’t swear ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the capital of the great King. Don’t even swear ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Say just a simple ‘Yes, I will’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.” Matthew 5:33-37
Jesus was emphasizing the importance of telling the truth. People were breaking promises and using sacred language casually and carelessly. Keeping oaths and promises is important; it builds trust and makes committed human relationships possible. Are you known as a person of your word? Truthfulness seems so rare that we feel we must end our statements with “I promise.” If we tell the truth all the time, we will have less pressure to back up our words with an oath or promise.