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But above all things, my brethren, swear not

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  • But above all things, my brethren, swear not

    James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

    There has been a few times in my life (even as a Christian) that my word has not been believed. In order to get a person to believe what I say is a truth and not a lie, I have sworn it to be so.

    There are time when we (I) hate not being believed, but James says that we should just let our yes be yes, and our no be no. He says "ABOVE ALL THINGS, SWEAR NOT"

    James says this is a very serious matter (and I can see why) but how serious do we take this warning to ourselves?

    I guess I have read this a number of times, and just swept over it. There are many reasons why a person would not believe us, but how sad it is when that reason, is because of us and our actions.

    There are a couple of questions I need to ask of myself:

    a) Is it my pride that is hurt, when not believed (and therefore need to swear a truth)

    b) Is it my lifestyle that causes a person not to believe me, when I speak a truth.
    Am I always to much a pessimist, or to much an optimist. Do I jest and fool around to much. Do I overly exaggerate.

    I would appreciate others thoughts and imput.

  • #2
    This passage in James was addressed to the Jews and Arabs, who were constantly swearing or taking oaths by heaven, earth, Jerusalem, the temple, the altar, and the different members of the body. Even simple statements were given with an oath added. This is the practice that was being addressed by James when he made this command.

    James was warning them that if this practice continued, they would fall into hypocricy, since they made the oaths verbally, but they weren't sincere in their hearts. Many times the oath was made with a mental "note" to annul the oath later. The ones who did this were confirmed hypocrites.

    I think we all have added an "oath" for emphasis from time to time. Maybe our confidence wasn't what it could be. I know someone who constantly say's, "I'm not the only one who feels this way; So-and-So feels the same way." This person would swear to something because she doesn't have enough confidence in her own thoughts and feelings.

    It's something we shouldn't fall into. Our reputation and our very life should reflect that we are honest, and truthful, and adding and "oath" to a statement we make doesn't really make someone believe us any more, it just shows them that we may not have complete confidence in what we are saying.

    God Bless.
    "I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High." Psalm 9:2