MUSINGS – January 07, 2019


Matthew 5:33-37
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Never break your oath, but give to the Lord what you swore in an oath to give him.’ But I tell you don’t swear an oath at all. Don’t swear an oath by heaven, which is God’s throne, or by the earth, which is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, which is the city of the great King. And don’t swear an oath by your head. After all, you cannot make one hair black or white. Simply say yes or no. Anything more than that comes from the evil one.

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give is true? People lie. We know that. Because we know that people lie, we want to reinforce the truth by swearing that it is true.

Nothing can make you doubt someone faster than the phrase, “Let me be honest with you.”

I have a friend who often says, “I’m telling you the truth. I’m not making this up.” I know that they mean it as a validation of their narrative. But it has the opposite effect on me. It makes me wonder how much of everything else they said it’s made up.

Phycologist Jeff Hancock gave a TED Talk and asked his audience the following:

  • Do you ever give people compliments that aren’t completely genuine?
  • Have you told someone you were doing well when, in reality, you were exhausted and having a terrible week?
  • Do you ever tell people you are busy to avoid having to talk to them for an extended period of time or do something with them?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’ve lied. Those are just a couple of the common scenarios that trigger the most lying.

No wonder Jesus said, “Simply say yes or no. Anything more than that comes from the evil one.”

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All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams

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