June 16, 2018
“Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” (Matthew 5:33-37)
Today’s Gospel gives us more of the instruction offered in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The sermon contains some of the most direct, specific teaching of Jesus in the three years leading up to His human death.
Today’s lesson: Integrity. Are you someone who can be believed? Someone who can be trusted?
After committing to something, does your “Yes” sometimes waver? You said, “Yes,” but now something has come up that you think is more important or more enjoyable, so your “Yes” changes. You said, “Yes,” but what you committed to was much more difficult than you anticipated, so now you’re not so sure. You said, “Yes,” but you only said that so others would quit asking you; you had no intention of actually following through.
Parents in particular struggle with “No” meaning “No.” As parents you know what’s right for your children. You have established the moral foundation for them. You have said “No” to them when it comes to drinking, drugs, pre-marital sex, immodesty in dress, boy-girl sleepover parties, and so much more. But, it seems like these things are accepted by all of the other parents, and by society in general. You tell your daughter “No” to some of the immodest clothing she wants to wear to the school dance, but then you see other girls entering the dance wearing whatever they want. You waver. You begin to think that maybe you’re being too hard on your daughter. You allow your son to have a party in your home. You have always said, “No” to underage drinking in your home, but it seems that the trend is to allow it, as long as you “keep it safe” by taking car keys or by “keeping a close eye on them.” So maybe your “No” wavers, because you want your children to like you, right?
We have clear teaching from Jesus. Be a person of integrity, someone others (especially your children!) can count on and trust. Stick to your commitments. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’