A man’s word.

April 16, 2014.

Today’s post will be a bit shorter but with a message that should not be taken lightly. Have you ever heard some one say “Back in my day, a man’s word actually meant something.”? Now I know that we don’t typically like to hear how our generation is just awful and how it used to be so much better “back in the day,” but this is something that I tend to feel pretty strongly about. I don’t know where the concept of someone’s word holding wait came from exactly, but I would be willing to be (if I were a gambling man) that it would find its roots in biblical teaching. Even if not, I believe the concept it laid out in scripture. Listen to the word of our Lord:

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
(Matthew 5:33-37)

This teaching is aimed at us keeping our word, or our lack of ability thereof. Oaths were (are are if they are taken) a serious business. Solomon says this about them:

“When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.”
(Ecclesiastes 5:4-7)

A vow taken lightly is a vow that will bring evil upon the one who is taking it. Jesus goes further to say that we shouldn’t take oaths at all, but rather what we say to be “yes” or “no”. The notion that a man’s word should mean something is a biblical notion in my opinion. We should mean what we say. When I say I’m going to do something, I try to do everything in my power to actually do it. I don’t use the phrase lightly. I think the Christian community should do it, if we are not doing it already. James touches on this in his letter:

“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.”
(James 5:12)

There you have it, short and sweet: Let our yes be yes and our no be no. Let us bring our generation back to where our word means something. This will show our Lord’s glory. May his glory fill the Earth.

Daily Suggested Reading: Ecclesiastes 5, Matthew 5, James 5, Revelation 21.

Live according to your calling.


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