We are coming to the close of our study of the book of James in the New Testament. In James 5:12,19-20 he talks about consistency and compassion.
Verse 12 presents a picture of consistency. Listen to it. “Above all, my brothers, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No,’ no, or you will be condemned.” Jesus says the same thing in Matthew 5:33-37. If you have to swear by something in order to give your words authenticity there is something wrong.
How often have those who have placed their hand on the Bible and sworn to tell the truth been found out to be liars? If you are called upon in a court to swear with your hand on the Bible you had better be sure to speak the truth. If you don’t, you not only are in danger of the Judge’s punishment, but worse than that, you will be judged by the ultimate Judge, whom James says, “Is standing at the door!”
Jesus said, you will be judged by every word that proceeds out of your mouth. If you answer “Yes,” make sure you mean yes. And if you answer “No,” make sure you mean no. This is especially true when sharing the gospel message.
Listen to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:18-20: “But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’ For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me…was not ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’ but in him it has always been ‘Yes.’ For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.”
We can always count on what God has said. Can others count on what you say?