To swear is to give my solemn word that what I say is true or what I say I will do I will in fact do. It is a tacit affirmation that I am in control of my words and my actions. But more often than not, I swear about things that are not within my control. Worse, I swear in God’s name over whom I have absolutely no control whatsoever. This way, I make my solemn word a profanity, or even worse a blasphemy.
When I give my word, let my ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and not ‘Maybe’ or even the very opposite of what I am saying. When I say ‘No’ let me say it without any disambiguation. A test of true character is when people can take your word for what it is worth and not be disappointed.
In many circles today and in many circumstances, talk is cheap and sworn statements are ever so often taken very lightly. Politicians engage in doublespeak. Business people equivocate in their reports. Even religious leaders sometimes engage in double-talk, invoking the name of God in vain.
Christ’s call is plain and simple: honesty and trust in our relationships, honesty in our communications with one another, transparency in our words and integrity in our actions.