Thursday, August 17, 2006

Guilt Trip

Matt 5: 33 - 37 (NIV)
Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is God's throne or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

This was the sermon verse at the chapel service today.

I have always looked at this verse from a simple and narrow minded perspective of oaths and promises; Don't make promises, don't make oaths, let your 'Yes' be a 'Yes' and your 'No' be a 'No'. Somehow, today listening to the speaker, my understanding of this particular verse have been taken to a much more deeper and disturbing level.

The speaker spoke of this verse from the perspective of integrity, honesty and absolutes. In the olden days mentioned in the Bible, people added strength, authenticity and integrity to the statements they made by swearing oaths in God's name. It is as if without oaths, you generally cannot trust the claims or words that a person says.

Fast forward into the present, we have not changed much either. We hear such new versions like 'If this does not happen, I will step down from this position.' or 'May I be struck down with lightning if ... ' or 'If I lie, I will chop off my hand'. Of course, the last statement is more appropriate for a gangster movie. In courtroom dramas, you see people swearing to tell the truth by the Bible or whatever they believed in.

All this just goes to show how much the value of personal integrity has dropped in our society. There is no longer absolute truths. We even have half truths, white lies and black lies (Go figure) Well, in the Bible, Jesus emphasized integrity from our actions, thoughts and words.

Needless to say, it was a troubling sermon today, and I skipped Holy Communion.


Las montañas said...

well, i would take these with a pinch of salt... those drama sayings/swearing.

Jonzz said...

LOL, LM, you mean to say, you've never heard people saying them. I've heard it all too often already from the lips of real people but I doubt their sincerity in carrying out their claims.