Summary: Introductory Comments 1.
James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
11. And in chapter 3 he talks about the evil and power of the tongue. Slandering and cursing.
12. This sin we are looking at this evening may seen less harmful and yet James suggests it is greater than the others he has mentioned. For he starts the verse by saying "above all."
13. A second problem with taking oaths, is that we don’t take the other things we say as serious. When we start saying "I promise, or honest to God" when we want to make sure that the other believes us, then it means that when we don’t make an oath, we are implying that we are not as serious about what we promise. We can always say "well, I didn’t promise, I would do that."
14. And that ties in to the main thing that James is teaching. Be people of your word. Let your "yes"be "yes"and your "no"be "no".
15. We are people of God who are call to bring His Word. We witness to God by the way we live but also by our proclamation of who God is. If we go about not keeping our word, not doing what we say we would - whether to others or to our own parents and children - then they start questioning if they can believe anything we say. What we do is make them start questioning the words by which we share our faith. "He says there is a God, but I don’t know, he says many things taht I can’t believe. Why should I believe him now?"
16. We live in a world in which ones word does not mean much to most people. We break vows to God, to the church and to our spouses. We even support people in their vow-breaking.
17. If we can be people who keep our word, we will be different. People may wonder what is wrong with us, especially when others break their word, we must not see this as an excuse to break ours, but rather as an opportunity to bring the light of the truth into the world.
18. Maybe another did not keep their part of the bargain, but I made a promise and I will keep my part.
19. Then the world we will see that we are truly people of the Word. That we represent the Truth, which comes only from God.
20. It is easy to break our promises. To let our "yes" become a "no". We may forget. Something more important may come along. Something might get in the way. We promise to fix a truck by tomorrow but the job becomes greater than we thought.
21. Well, try to keep your promise, but if something unforeseen comes up, make sure you let the other person or party know. It shows you value their time and you value the words that you speak. When we break a promise, it may not seem like a big deal, but it may mean much to another. It may be another of many rejections they have felt in their lives. This is a serious matter.
22. Above all, let your "yes" be "yes" and you "no" be "no".
23. Means we think through what we say. Child asks for something and without thinking we say "no". After some thought we change our mind. "It’s ok." But what it means is that the child knows that our yes or no means little. We change to often . May be times we have made wrong answer and we need to admit we made mistake. But much better to think things through before we say "yes" or "no".
24. May we glorify God through lips that can be trusted. May our "yes" be "yes" and our "no" be "no."