“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Keep It Simple
Stan had a problem with the truth. It wasn’t that he was a blatant liar. He just had a problem with embellishments and exaggerations. As a result, people were skeptical about everything he said.
On one occasion Stan actually told the unvarnished truth. While he assured his hearers there were no exaggerations, he couldn’t convince them. To offer some assurance he added, “with God as my witness,” to his testimony. Even then people were still slow to accept he was trustworthy. He finally resorted to taking an oath, “cross my heart and hope to die!”
Stan’s problem can be mine. I color the truth to fit my needs. I rely on “white lies” to avoid accusations. I even call on God to serve as my witness. But what am I really doing with my words?
The moment I ask God to be my witness, I am inviting him to be the judge of all I say. I also permit his just judgment if I mishandle the truth. The effects of such an invitation could be disastrous. What if God would decide to strike me dead as soon as I didn’t tell the truth?
This is why Jesus’ lesson is so relevant. Not only does he say, “keep it simple,” he further adds that I should be a person who delights in and relies on the truth.
Certainly telling the simple truth is a challenge, because my heart is full of lies. I am also easily swayed by the devil who is the author of every lie. I can only overcome this propensity to lie when I rely on Jesus to make me a person who delights in being truthful.
During his earthly ministry Jesus established and proclaimed the truth. It convicted. It convinced. It converted. Along with the truth, his innocent death and shed blood washed away every stain and stigma of my lying nature. His blood cleansed my heart. It also purified the words of my mouth.
It is only because of Jesus I can be truthful in all things. It is also only because of Jesus I can keep all my conversations simply “yes” and “no.”
O Jesus, overcome the deceitfulness of my words with your truth. Replace the sinful weakness of my heart with your strength. Fill me with joy in speaking what is simple and pure. Amen.