Scripture: 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. James 5:12 NIV
Observation: I believe that this scripture clearly states that we should not be ambiguous in our positions or words. Ambiguity will most certainly lead us to sin by being untruthful.
Application: The following is copied from the “Contribs” section on my YouVersion bible. The author is FivestarMan. He entitled his thoughts “Gapes [sic] or Hedges.” I liked what he had to say and thought that I would share it with you today.
People have a tendency to exaggerate. You hear it when people want to emphasis something they “over speak” such as, “I am sick and tired!” or “That’s driving me crazy!” When describing some thing [sic] they look for the most current overused cliché. The vacuous person will often use expletive speech simply because they don’t have the vocabulary to properly communicate – it reveals ignorance. “Over speak” causes people to express extremes – their highs are really high – their lows are really low. The Nemesis of man works in the gapes [sic]. He looks for ways to get into your life. The only way for him to do so is when we expose a gap. Between “Yes” and “No” is a gap. It’s a grey area that allows Nemesis to work. Examine the attacks against your life – more than likely they are a result of a gap, a grey area, an exposed opening that was not defined by a simple “yes” or “no”. Instead of exposing a gap we should mend the hedges not leaving any room for doubt. People often carry “over speak” into prayer. To emphasis their desperation, they over extend themselves – they raise their voice and speak out unintelligible vows and promises, “God, O’ God, if you do this, then I promise this!” or “I swear to God!” Be honest in your speech, let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”. Don’t over speak to try to emphasis your emotions. What kind of phrases do you use regularly? What clichés are you in a habit of speaking? How many vows have you blurted out that are useless? What grey areas are in your life?
Prayer: Father, help me remember to not be ambiguous in thought or word. I don’t want to live in the grey areas. I want to honor you with my honest “yes and no.” Amen