"You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'When you make a vow (promise), don't break that promise. Keep the vows (promises) that you make to the Lord.' But I tell you, never make a vow. Don't make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God's throne."
— Matthew 5:33-34
When we promise God something, he expects us to keep our word. It doesn't matter what the cultural view of truth and lying is, we are to be honest before God and with each other. In a way, it is ridiculous to try to live in any other way. After all, God knows our heart, our intentions, and our actions. He will hold us to our promises whether anyone else does or not! So let's make sure our word is genuine and that we don't need to pile up a bunch of other "flowery" language or culturally appropriate expletives to prop up our commitments. If we say we'll do it, then let's do it!
Father in heaven, please forgive me for the times I have not kept my word. Stir in me a passion for faithfulness and trustworthiness. Make me a person who can be counted upon to follow through with what I say. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
"You have heard that it was said, 'Don't do the sin of adultery.' But I tell you that if a person looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, then that person has already done that sin with the woman in his mind. If your right eye makes you sin, then take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. "It was also said, 'Any person that divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.' But I tell you that any person that divorces his wife is causing his wife to be guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce his wife is if his wife had sexual relations with another man. And any person that marries that divorced woman is guilty of the sin of adultery. "You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'When you make a vow (promise), don't break that promise. Keep the vows (promises) that you make to the Lord.' But I tell you, never make a vow. Don't make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God's throne. Don't make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don't make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King (God). And don't even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your vow. You cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. Say only 'yes' if you mean yes, and say only 'no' if you mean no. If you must say more than 'yes' or 'no,' it is from the Evil One (the devil).
Related Scripture Readings
If you make a promise to God, then keep your promise. Don't be slow to do the thing you promised. God is not happy with foolish people. Give God what you promised to give him. It is better to promise nothing than to promise something and not be able to do it.
"When you make a promise to the Lord your God, don't be slow to pay all that you promised. Why? Because the Lord your God will demand that you pay it. You will sin if you don't pay the things you promised. If you don't make a promise, then you are not sinning. But you must do the things you say you will do. If you make a special promise to God, then you chose to make that promise. God did not force you to make that promise. So you must do the thing you promised!
The Lord hates people who tell lies. But the Lord is happy with people who tell the truth.