April 5, 2019

James 5:12 (NLT) — 12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.

James has been talking about Real faith, faith in God that shows itself to be real and genuine by the way it acts. If you want examples you can go back and read the blogs for the last four or five days. In this above verse he says, “But most of all” or as we would say, “listen up”, which to me indicates that he really wants to get our attention here. His next words must really be important and he doesn’t want us to miss them. So what is he saying?

I believe James is saying the person of Real faith is a person that has a reputation of being so trustworthy that his words are never questioned. If someone asks the Real faith person to do something and the Real faith person says ‘yes’ the conversation ends right there. The person doesn’t have to say, “Are you sure you will do it?” And the Real faith person doesn’t have to respond, “I swear on a stack of bibles” or “May God strike me dead if I don’t” or “I swear on my mother’s grave”. If a person has to back up his words with other words it would indicate that maybe that person is not totally trustworthy; that there is a chance they may not keep their word. James says, “Don’t be that person.”

People sin all the time in courtrooms. They are asked, “Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? And then they proceed to lie. And as a result sometimes the guilty go free and the innocent are charged.

Wouldn’t this be a wonderful world to live in if everyone’s word could be trusted? You walk into a bank and ask to borrow some money. The banker asks if you will pay it back in so many monthly installments and you say ‘yes’. He writes it down and gives you the money and you walk out; transaction completed. You didn’t have to sit there for hours and fill out paper work.

Wouldn’t it be nice to buy a house with out going through a real estate agent? Somebody has a house for sale and you ask them about the condition of the house, they tell you, it satisfies you and you give them the money you just borrowed and that’s it. No forty pages of papers to read over and sign.

Back in about 1999 Cleo and I were living in Fargo. I had a motorcycle for sale and a guy came from Jamestown to look at it. He asked me couple of questions, I then let him take the bike out for a ride. He came back and we just sat there looking at the bike not saying much at all. The silence was kind of awkward. After about a half hour he looked at me and said, “I believe I can trust you. You didn’t talk excessively about how great the bike is and you don’t seem like you are in a hurry to sell it so I’ll take it”. 

So James is saying that if you are a Christian people ought to be able to trust what you say. A person of Real faith is a person of few words. 🙂

Have you had to swear on you mother’s grave lately?

Be Inspired Hilltop!