Welcome to DAY 23 of our online Bible study on James!
— Read: James 5:12 —
Have you ever caught your child with his hand in the cookie jar? How did he respond when confronted?
If your children are like most, they will emphatically say they didn’t take any cookies! Why is that? Children lie naturally because they’re born with fallen human natures. No child has to be taught to lie, in fact, we must teach them how to tell the truth. But lying is an unfortunate part of our inheritance from Adam and Eve.
It’s important to understand how the Jews were using oaths during the time when James wrote his epistle.
They believed if you used God’s name when you swore an oath — a binding oath — you were required to follow through. But if you swore by something else like the temple or the altar — a non-binding oath — you didn’t have to honor your word. Oaths became an excuse for lying. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus firmly addresses this in Matthew 5:33-37.
Becoming a Christian doesn’t diminish our propensity to lie, especially when it’s in our interests to do so. No wonder James says at the beginning of verse 12, “Above all.”
It’s that important for Christians to be people of truth, honor, and integrity.
Have you ever said or heard someone say. “I swear to God,” or “So help me God,” or “I swear on my child’s life.” We want to make sure the person knows we aren’t lying so we add unnecessary words to our simple yes or no. But if our lives exhibit proven integrity, then our yes or no will always be enough. If not, we risk condemnation or judgment.
James is speaking to believers in his letter, not those outside the church.
Imagine how the world would change if Christians simply chose truth every time! How differently might these stories have ended had Abraham told the truth about Sarah or David hadn’t lied about Bathsheba. Lying cost Ananias and Sapphira their lives. Even Peter wasn’t immune. He denied knowing Jesus with oaths and cursing!
As Christian women representing the church and the Lord Jesus Christ, our word alone must always be enough. If we are marked by honesty, our credibility will shine and others will easily trust that our yes is yes and our no is no.
I pray we become women who are straightforward, honest, truthful, and filled with integrity.
The world system is built on falsehoods and lies. As we transform ourselves into women of truthful lips and integrity, I guarantee the world will take notice and the world will be changed.
— Diving Deeper —
Do you ever feel the need to bolster your words with oaths?
How can we become women
of such integrity that our yes is yes and our no is no?
Share in the comments…