Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
— James 5:12
Lon Grammer claimed some impressive credentials at Yale University. He was a very popular student, playing rugby while earning a 3.9 grade point average. But a just a month before he was to graduate with a degree in political science, Yale expelled the 25-year-old.
Yale officials say that Lon lied about his GPA and forged recommendations from nonexistent teachers to get into the school. He accepted $61,475 in scholarship money under these false pretenses, which led to his arraignment under charges of larceny. Yet in a TV interview, Lon pleaded that his actions were no worse than what happens every day when people lie on résumés.
In today’s world, so many people play games with the truth for their own benefit. Some stretch it, while others like Lon fabricate it altogether. Yet God’s Word couldn’t be clearer: in your dealings with others, let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no. In fact, you should have such impeccable credentials as a truth-teller that others notice something different in you!
It’s easy to tell the truth when it won’t cost you anything. It’s harder when the truth brings about difficult circumstances. But whether the result is good or bad, let your truthfulness be known to all so that you can live with a clear conscience and be a trustworthy friend.
Ask God to help you gain a reputation of truthfulness even if the truth makes things more difficult.