by Ken Sun, Bethesda Campus Pastor
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)
It was 7 am on a Saturday. It was cold and rainy, and none of us wanted to be there. But earlier in the week we had promised our fellow small group member that we would help him move. Did we have thoughts of “bailing” on him when the alarm clock went off before the crack of dawn? I can only speak for myself, but to be honest I certainly did. I tried to justify my thoughts as I lay in bed:
“He asked a lot of guys, he probably doesn’t need me.”
“I had a tough week and really need to catch up on my sleep.”
“He probably doesn’t have that much stuff to move, and I’ll just be standing around anyway.”
But there I was with seven other guys all of whom had said we would be there on Saturday morning to help our friend move.
You see, in one of our studies together earlier that year, we had studied Matthew 5:33-37 where Jesus says in verse 37, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” We noted that this teaching was repeated almost word for word in James 5:12, and it ends with a sterner warning, “Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No’ be no, or you will be condemned.”
In this simple teaching, Jesus shows us that following Him means living a life of integrity where simply saying we’ll do something means we’ll do it. That should be all people need to hear from us.
So there we were, cold, wet and tired. And really, it wasn’t that bad. He had even bought enough coffee and donuts to go around as we moved his belongings and then had a mini-celebration at his new place.
Interestingly, another guy showed up several hours later when the weather had cleared and when we were almost done. He was a co-worker of our friend who was moving. He couldn’t believe so many of us had gotten there so early in the morning.
A bit chagrined, he asked my friend, “Where did you find these guys? Do they all owe you large sums of money that you said you’d forgive if they showed up?”
My friend smiled and said, “These guys are in my small group from church. And, I know I can count on them: when they say ‘Yes’, they mean yes.”
I can tell you, this left an impression on my friend’s non-believing co-worker that a dozen sermons would never have done.
May we, too, always let our “Yes” be yes.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we haven’t done what we said we’d do. We pray that You would help us be people of integrity where our “Yes” means yes. And we thank You that you always do what you say You’re going to do. Amen.