Matters of Faith: By Your Word You Are Honored or Disgraced

James 5:12 KJV

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

Rev. J. Loren Russell

The word that comes immediately to my mind is integrity, which is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as moral, uprightness, honesty, wholeness, soundness. A person who lives in their integrity is completely upright, honest, sound, someone who, when they give their word, they keep their word. Integrity is a commitment to live by your word.

In today’s hectic world, finding a person of integrity is challenging. Far too many people send mixed messages with their words. They tell you one thing, then do something else. If you ask them why, very often they blame external situations or circumstances, arguing that they were the cause of their reneging on their commitment. I think the thing they most fail to realize is that the person most adversely affected by their lack of keeping their word is they themselves. People simply classify them as undependable, as they try to create some justification for their actions.

Whether you are a creationist or evolutionist, both acknowledge that no other living thing can speak except those of the human species. The Bible mentions a serpent and a donkey who both spoke once, but never again. Humanity is the only living creature that communicates by speaking. What’s saddening is that there are people from every language group whose word lacks integrity.

Creationists believe that God created everything by the power of His word. He spoke, “Let there be…,” and everything that is came into being, including humanity. We are the only creation God breathed His own breath into, putting a part of Himself in each of us. This gave us the ability to speak also. He put the power of life and death into the tongue where our words come from. He then entrusted that power to us. To control that power, the Apostle James says we must let our “yea be yea,” and our “nay be nay.”

If our walk and our talk are in harmony, we live in our integrity. This might be an eye-opening topic for you. If so, embrace the challenge and commit to living by your word. It is the source of strength that empowers you to do all things but fail. To the common idiom, “talk is cheap!” I add this caveat, “words are powerful!” Make a commitment to live by your word so you’re not just talking about it, you are being about it! Your word can honor or disgrace you. You will not be disgraced if you let your “yea be yea, and your nay, nay.”

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords). 

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