What does it mean to “keep your word”? Is it sticking to a promise as long as the other person reciprocates, or is it more? When it comes to describing an event or recalling a conversation, what does “integrity of story” mean? Jesus narrowed it all down to simple terms. He said this:
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’.” – Matthew 5:37a NKJV
In the Jewish culture, invoking Heaven or Jerusalem as a signature to a statement was often used to identify it as true and binding. Jesus taught that our character should back up our word without the need for addendums. Our commitments or story-telling should be readily received as true, based on a previous track record. As a disciple, we represent Christ, and our words should reflect that. What are some of your commitments? Are they to a spouse? To your kids? To serve in a position at church? How about in your vocation? Are you known as a person of “word-integrity” or do you edit things to primarily benefit yourself?
Thankfully there is forgiveness for the times of “missing the mark” (which may also require making amends), but going forward today; “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’.”