Day 8 Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:33-37

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

“A ‘no’ is as good as a ‘yes’.” This has been my mantra when it comes to prayer.  My thinking is that if I am truly trusting God for His answer and guidance (which by definition is always for His glory and my good), then a closed door has just eliminated one of many possibilities.  God is willing to say “no” because it leads in the ultimate right direction.

With this in mind, it is not a wonder that Jesus would tell me to be just as clear in my own responses.

I have vivid memories of telling my then teenagers, they could not go somewhere because I could not provide transportation, when in fact I wanted to say no to the event.  I thought the cover up would go down easier.  (If I’ve never confessed this lie, Lord, I do so now.)  Of course, it backfired because any teen who wants to do something can find a ride.  I had not only shot myself in the foot with my kid, but it made everything worse.

I learned a few painful but valuable lessons that day.  I could make bumper stickers.

  • Cover ups never work.
  • Honesty is always the best policy.
  • Conflict avoidance as a technique is probably just lying.
  • Speak the truth in love. If you can’t keep the two together, be quiet until you figure it out.
  • With God, a “no” is as good as a “yes”.
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3 thoughts on “Day 8 Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:33-37

  1. I did not read today’s scripture in the same light, though you make some excellent points. (It could be denial that kept my mind from heading down that path. My children will tell you, “The bank doesn’t have any money. I’m expensive.” This could possibly be a result of me using the first part of that statement as an easy excuse for why we aren’t going to the bank when they so desparately want to go there and the second part as my answer to the “why” which quickly follows my excuse.)

    I digress. Here is what I “heard” when I read today’s passage. You do not own or have the rights to any place, whether in heaven or on earth. You do not own anything that you may think that you own. You are not in control. Your home? Try his. Your body? His again. Your life? Still his. Are you in control of anything? Not even on your best day. Everything is his, including you. Pop goes the ego.

    So, basically you cannot swear by anything because it is an “empty promise.” Those things are not yours. Not to mention, it is somehow an empty promise filled with self importance and pride. That’s an oxymoron that you’d better take to heart; otherwise, you are just a moron.

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  2. I have to say your understanding encompasses the entire passage. I found myself on “why yes or no was the best plan.” And how I’ve screwed it up.

    Your obervations are indeed ego balloon poppers lest we go floating off on our own power trips.

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    • That is what I love about reading your response and writing mine. Sometimes we are see similar things from different perspectives and sometimes we see completely new things. Both push me to think more broadly and open up my heart to listen. It’s cool.

      And a no is often more valuable than a yes from God. A no is a firm yes I hear you, but no that is not what is for you for now. In saying no, he redirects our time, attention, and prayers to whatever he is calling you to in this place and time.

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