12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
The Passion Translation gives this verse as …
“Above all we must be those who never need to verify our speech as truthful by swearing by the heavens or the earth or any other oath. But instead we must be so full of integrity that our “Yes” or “No” is convincing enough and we do not stumble into hypocrisy.”
This translation helps us to understand this instruction is about more than what I say. This verse is about living a life of integrity always – that our yes means yes and no means no in what we do as well as what we say. It’s easy to say “yes I will help with that” and then forget or get distracted. God wants us to think about what we say before we say it and then stick to what we say. When God’s truth is a priority for us we become more thoughtful people, someone who wants to be real and to treat others with love and respect.
Lord thank you that you have provided guidance for us about how you would like us to treat ourselves and those around us – to have integrity always. Help us to become more thoughtful throughout our days, to think more before we speak and to value your truth. Help us to treat those around us with love and respect each day through what we say and how we say it. Amen
Written by Therese Manning