Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 2, 2004
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our new book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev.
Dr. Sandra Bochonok
Please get out your Bible and read the Gospel and Dr.
Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Keeping your word
Jesus said, concerning oaths, "'Again, you have
heard that it was said to those of ancient times,
"You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the
vows you have made to the Lord." But I say to
you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for
it is the throne of God, 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 one hair white or black.
Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No;" anything
more than this comes from the evil one.'"
Matthew 5:33-37 (NRSV)
Jesus' words in today's verse are intended to help
listeners avoid perjury, according to F. F. Bruce
(Bruce, F. F. "The Hard Sayings of Jesus," pp. 66-
67). Bearing false witness and breaking our vows
are significant legal and spiritual concerns.
Scripture lessons in Exodus 20:7, Leviticus 19:12,
Numbers 30:2, and Deuteronomy 23:21 offer further
guidance. In short, followers of Jesus should be
women and men of their word.
While writing this reflection I watched a wonderful
movie "It Could Happen to You." This entertaining
1994 movie is about a New York City cop, a waitress,
and a lottery ticket. To the cop's embarrassment,
as he paid his bill, he lacked money for a tip. All
he had left was a lottery ticket. Not expecting to
win anything, the police officer promised to share
his lottery winnings with the waitress in lieu of a
tip. To everyone's surprise and delight, the officer
held the winning ticket for millions of dollars.
Being a man of his word, he honored his promise and
endured much criticism for doing so. But his word
was his pledge and he was determined to do the right
thing. He had made a promise. Being a person of
integrity, he kept his word. What would you have
done in his situation?
So for today, let your "yes" be "yes" and "no" be
"no" before making hasty promises. Consider the
cost of your words. Think twice before offering
vows, oaths, promises, and good intentions. As a
follower of Jesus, keep your word.
God, help us honor our words, promises, vows, and
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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