Take a moment and read James 5:12.
One sermon that has stuck in my mind better than most was one I heard on this very verse years ago. My long-term memory is literally one of the worst you will find so it's rare a sermon from the last 14 years stands out, however, this one did. I don't remember many details, but what I do remember was the strong conviction to follow through with this simple message. And to be honest, I think at the same time it's a big struggle for most.
When James begins verse 12 he uses, "Above all." These words mean "especially" and are important for us take notice of. It's as if James is saying that everything he has written about up till this point has been very important but to take special notice of what he's about to say. Especially listen to what's coming up!
Furthermore, James is yet again saying that our words need to line of with our actions. In fact, our speech reflects quite significantly the nature of our character. Don't swear or take the Lord's name in vain. Stop using, "I swear to God," or "Oh my God." It's just not fitting, y'all.
However, the crux of this verse and the part I want to focus on is, "let your yes be yes and your no be no." Essentially, be a person of your word.
If you say you're going to be somewhere, then be there. If you have a meeting you've committed to, don't cancel. If you tell a friend you'll help them move, then show up. Certainly things come up that warrant an exception but as a standard practice, keep your words and your commitments.
Sadly, and this comes to mind first, I've witnessed too many times since entering the workforce the cancellation of meetings for something "more important" or people showing up late. I've been the culprit a few times. But to do this is not only disrespectful to those you have made the commitment to, it's displeasing to God.
It's clear and simple; in fact, it doesn't get clearer than this! Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Follow through on your commitments. Stop canceling something you've committed to, even when something "better" or "more important" comes up.It's called integrity.
This is obviously a big deal or else James wouldn't have prefaced it with "especially" and ended it with the note that to fail in this area brings judgement.
Whew, fun topic, huh?! My prayer is that it reminds you of the importance of keeping your word and impacts how you approach situations.
- Take some time for self-examination and honestly identify if this is an area you struggle with.
- If it is, how can you grow in this area?