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Simple Yes or No will do

 Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:33-37, "Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,' but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black. But let your speech be, 'Yes, yes; No, no.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one."

Jesus is saying that yes or no is enough. No need to elaborate with vows, telling people you promise to do something by heaven, on your mother's grave, on your life, or any other oath. It simply isn't necessary if you really mean you will or won't do what you are saying yes or no to. 

I must admit that I have made promises, although not vows or oaths, from time to time that I knew I couldn't fulfill - because I was guilted into promising. For example, I was once guilted into promising that I would take care of someone's cat if something happened and the woman was no longer able to take care of the cat herself (after I had already told her she shouldn't get the cat because of her declining health). I made the promise, because she wouldn't accept my answer no. But when the time came and the woman needed to go into assisted living and needed to get rid of the cat, my own cat was showing signs of needing more care, so I didn't volunteer to take her cat in. She reminded me of the promise I had made. And I reminded her that I hadn't wanted to make that promise because I had, first of all, told her she shouldn't get the cat and, second of all, my circumstances had changed since she made me make that promise. So, don't let anyone force you into a promise like this. In this case, "maybe," might be a better answer but only if it's true. Otherwise, "no" will suffice.

Of course, Jesus wasn't talking about vows such as wedding vows that do require more elaboration as to marriage conduct, which should be taken seriously or promises to pay back money that we have borrowed. These are circumstances that require a commitment. But in trivial situations such as the cat ordeal, provide a simple, discerning, and honest answer when asked about something without adding unnecessary "promise" verbiage - even if the other person demands or pleads for a promise. 🙏 

The devil uses "promise" schemes to control people. And people want promises, especially from trustworthy people or people they want to control, by using demand promises as their control weapon. We really do not want to be in the same category with the evil one. So, let's avoid demanding promises or making promises that we know we can't keep. Yes or no will do. 

Have a blessed day,

Patricia

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