Should we take oaths? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
As we continue looking at the Kingdom of King Jesus, we get to a lesson on oaths.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Now this is not saying no oaths absolutely. This is talking about flippant oaths. Think about how many times you have made a deal with God as an example. Does it really help out? Also, how many times do you keep your oath?
Everyone in the ancient world took oaths seriously. If you broke an oath, it was inviting judgment from the deity on you. Flippant oath taking is not taking the deity seriously enough.
What Jesus is really saying is to be a person of your word. Make it your goal to have it be that if you say yes or no to something, you are so trustworthy that that’s all people need to hear. You don’t need to do something big and drastic. You can just state what your intention is and what your desire is and people will be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
This is one reason also I am very hesitant with making promises. Promises are made today often to be broken. If you promise something, you had better be serious about it.
If your word isn’t reliable, people have no reason to trust you. For evangelism, they definitely have no reason to trust you about Jesus. This is similar to what I have said about sharing things like conspiracy theories. You hurt your witness tremendously. Break your word consistently enough and people have no reason to trust you.
Sometimes, you will have to take an oath such as in court and making a marriage vow and it has to be serious. If you think an oath is necessary, treat it seriously. This is about your reputation.