Jesus Said “Let Your Yes Be Yes and Your No Be No”

October 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM 2 comments

Being truthful means never having to try to remember what you said...

Being truthful means never having to try to remember what you said…

In Matthew 5:37, Jesus stated without equivocation, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” The context is interesting as it touches on how far the people of Jesus’ day would go to back out of an oath they had made. James 5:12 teaches the same truth.

Here is the immediate context (Matthew 5:33-37). “”Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, YOU SHALL NOT MAKE false VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘No, no; anything beyond these is of evil.”

In other words, while the people of Jesus’ day placed great emphasis on making vows, but did so in a way that would allow them to break the oath later, Jesus says simply to be honest. If we are honest, then a simple “yes” or “no” will suffice. We know that politicians are the worst offenders here. But even politicians can and should be honest. They should say what they mean, not say something that is so nuanced that it can be taken 38 different ways. That is evil.

In the past week, I’ve experienced three separate individuals telling me one thing but doing another. At first I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to learn from this and to make matters worse, at least two of the individuals attend the same church I attend. In essence, I had learned that they told me one thing, but had really lied. They were being duplicitous, but today we call it being politically correct. Jesus says simply that what they did was evil.

What I found even more interesting is that I held absolutely no grudge toward them. When I realized that, I knew then that the Lord was trying to teach me something. It was easy to forgive since my emotions were not dictating how I should respond to their duplicity. What then, was the Lord teaching me? I committed myself to pray over it until He provided an answer.

What I have learned is that political correctness has infiltrated the church big time. Though many Christians likely believe they are honest and forthright, the truth of the matter is that they are not. It can happen to any of us.

Some might argue that they were not being duplicitous but merely wanted to save my feelings. The problem though is that they should have known there was a very good chance the truth would come out, as it always does. When that happens, how is the person who has been lied to supposed to feel about it?

But the worst part of these types of situations is that it becomes impossible to believe what that type of person tells you. It’s not that a desire to hold a grudge exists. In this case, as I said, that didn’t even enter the picture. The person(s) who lied to me has simply proven themselves to be a liar. How then can they be trusted to tell me the truth in other situations? In short, they can’t.

The reality for me then is that every Christian must be totally above-board and honest in all they do and say. There must not even be a hint of evil in what we say or do because as Christians, we no longer represent ourselves, but Jesus Christ.

Throughout the gospels, Jesus is seen to deal with situations at face value. He called it as He saw it and let the chips fall where they fell. This does not mean He was vindictive, nor does it mean He deliberately went out of His way to call people out on their lies, although when the situation arose, He did not shy away from that.

In Matthew 21, there are some interesting situations that occur. Jesus enters Jerusalem as King. He goes to the Temple. He then curses a fig tree and all of this leads up to the Pharisees asking Jesus to tell them by what authority He has done these things. It’s an interesting look at a politically incorrect Jesus vs. the politically correct Pharisees.

I love Jesus’ response. Rather than simply answer their question, He says, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things,” (Matthew 21:24). His question to them was simple as seen in verse 25. “John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

Uh oh, the Pharisees are between a rock and hard place. They know if they answer “from heaven,” Jesus will say “Then why didn’t you believe him?” and if they say “human origin” the people would probably pick up stones and stone them. They took the chicken’s way out by lying when they responded with, “We don’t know,” (v. 27).

But see, Jesus saw through it and called them on it. He knew they knew the truth about John and wanted to point that fact out to them. Jesus responded with “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” BAM!

Jesus was telling them in no uncertain terms that He knew they were simply refusing to answer His question. Because of that, He refused to answer their question. “Neither will I tell you…” gets the point across clearly. He knew they were lying and called them out on it.

People lie all the time. It’s part of how people interact. This should not be with Christians. No lie should ever come out of our mouth, yet for some Christians, this is part of the way they handle life. They believe they are lying to save the feelings of someone else, but unfortunately, when the lie is seen for what it is, a person’s feelings are hurt that much more, not to mention that the Christian who lied has harmed their own testimony.

If this is the way Christians act, then how is it possible to trust them? They are also very likely gossips, who spread one untruth after another.

We need to let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no.” Anything else is pure evil. That’s what Jesus called it and we need to recognize it. If we are authentic Christians, then the Holy Spirit will rebuke us lovingly and we dare not ignore it.

Tell the truth or say nothing at all. Don’t white wash something and certainly do not fall prey to the politically correct rules this world has established. It does not glorify the Lord and it harms our own testimony as well.

Entry filed under: Political Correctness, Politically Correct, salvation.

Does it Matter Who the “He” is in Daniel 9:27 as Far as the Tribulation is Concerned? Yes. EBT Madness: A Picture of Things to Come?


  • 1. libslayer2013  |  October 5, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    spot on brother…I’ve been teaching my youth group about the danger of lying fer the last two weeks. I may use part of this in the morning if that’s OK?


    • 2. modres  |  October 6, 2013 at 5:42 AM

      Use anything you feel is beneficial;)


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