Posted by Karah


Before you begin, listen to one or two of your favorite worship songs to help quiet your heart and focus your mind on Jesus. Consider listening to “Holy Spirit” by Kari Jobe (Majestic, 2014).

Read Matthew 5:33-37 in your Bible.

“But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.” —Matthew 5:37

Initial each statement that applies to you in the list below.


I committed to helping with a project, but when the time came I stayed home instead.

I signed up for a church activity, but something else ended up sounding more fun so I went there instead.

I told my parents I’d clean my room (or another chore), but I ended up hanging out with friends instead.

I told someone I’d pray for them, but never actually did.


Thinking about your answers and today’s passage, consider these questions:

Have you ever been guilty of breaking a commitment or promise you made to someone? Do you think that was a big deal? Why or why not?

Children of God tell the truth and live up to their word. Does that describe you? Why or why not?

Jesus’ teaching flew in the face of the thinking of the day. He said it was better to make a promise and live up to it than to thoughtlessly use God’s name to back up a vow you don’t intend to keep.

Behind the Story

At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the religious leaders had expanded oaths to cover all kinds of promises made to one another. “Levels of truth” emerged from the varieties of oaths. Swearing on heaven and God was considered more binding than swearing by earthly things.4


As Christians, we should be people of integrity.

Take stock of your life. Does it prove that you are a promise keeper? Do you tell the truth and refuse to twist it so that it benefits you? Would your friends and family members agree with your assessment? Why or why not?

If God has revealed any areas that do not please Him, confess and repent of them today. Commit once again to live in ways that please Him.

If you’ve disappointed someone in the past, how can you rebuild his or her trust? In your journal, record three steps you’ll take over the next few weeks to be a trustworthy person in those situations.

Pray, asking God to help you become a person whose word is trustworthy and honoring to Him.

The Point

Followers of Jesus tell the truth and their word can be counted on.



4Stuart Weber, Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew, ed. Max Anders, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Matthew 5 – The King Speaks His Heart (Part I)”

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