But above all, my brothers, do not swear either by heaven or by earth
or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.
Have you ever asked your angelic little child a question such as, "Did you take that cookie out of the cookie jar?" Have you ever gotten a reply (with a look of pure innocence) such as, "No, Mommy, I didn't. I promise. I really promise. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye!" Why did he say that? Because the Bible says that we are all liars at heart. It is a part of the sin nature that we all inherited.
How often have we tried to cover up a lie with an oath of assurance that we were telling the truth? The apostle, using the words, "above all, my brothers," once again warns us about the use of the tongue. How many times does he have to approach this subject before we get the message: The tongue is a dangerous thing!
How difficult is it to just tell the truth? If I am going to be honest, I must say that it is hard! I don't like to get into trouble for things. (Yes, grownups can get in trouble for things, too!) I hate to admit when I've done something wrong, when I have overlooked the doing of something that I should have done or have been asked to do. And yes, when confronted with an issue, it is very tempting to cover it with something other than just "yes" or "no." Somehow just saying "yes" or "no" makes a lie seem all the more a lie. Adding a little something like, "I swear on the Bible" makes it more believable, right? Wrong! It just gets us into more trouble. In fact, God says that it brings judgment on us.
Let's commit to making our "yes" real, and our "no" truthful. Then we don't have to make oaths that cannot be kept or were falsely made in the first place. Then we do not have to fear the condemnation of God.
How about this for an interesting oath? I wonder if anyone has ever kept it once he failed the test...
"Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out and given as a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven so that no more trace or remembrance may be had of so vile and perjured a wretch as I, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn obligation as a Master Mason, so help me, God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
Something to think about,