People of Integrity

Series: MasterClass | Week 4: Love in Real Life

Day Two Matthew 5:33-37

33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:33-37 (NLT)

Learn From The Word
Jesus isn’t making a universal statement to not take an oath. God Himself took an oath (Hebrews 6:13), Jesus spoke under oath in Matthew 26, and Paul later invokes God’s name twice to bring assurance to his words. The Pharisees had taken the law and once again found loopholes that implied truth telling was only necessary when under oath. Jesus says simply that our speech should always be filled with truth! As people living under the rule and reign of His kingdom, our words and actions point people to Him. Therefore, we should be known as people of our word – people of integrity.

Put It Into Practice
Are you a person of your word? Can you be trusted? A 2020 study done by the University of Massachusetts “found that 60% of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation.” Did you know that the chemical make-up of our brains actually changes when we lie, making it easier to lie again? Give careful thought to the words you speak this week, including the things you commit to. Ask God to point out anything that is less than honoring to Him when it comes to your speech. Remember, the point of Jesus’ words in this chapter is for His followers to run toward purity, not look for loopholes.

For Families with Kids at Home
Chances are high that as a parent or caregiver, you’ve experienced your kids lying, embellishing, or omitting the whole truth. We often lie when we feel shame about what we’ve done, and one of the best ways to combat shame is to communicate love and acceptance, regardless of your child’s actions. Encourage your kids today that they can always be honest with you, because you will always love and accept them, no matter what - just like our Heavenly Father does for us! 

As a follow-up, commit to reacting to news from your kids in a calm and level manner. Your kids will pick up on your reaction for whether or not they can trust you with the whole truth!