Daily Devotional for September 26
September 26 Matthew 5:27-37
"Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair
white or black. Let what you say be simply 'yes' or 'no'... ."
Jesus' advice seems wise: simply say what you mean and mean
what you say. After all, persons commit their entire lives to
each other with a few simple words. For example, several years
ago, I witnessed the marriage of two friends before a judge.
The ceremony took fifteen minutes. Coming out of the court-
house, the bride turned to me, laughing, and said, "It took
longer to buy this dress than it did to get married!"
But if it is so simple to say what we mean and mean what we
say, why do we sometimes find it hard to do? Sometimes the
truth is not so simple, nor is it always easy to say. We may
think, "I'm angry with you," yet we say, "Oh, I'm fine." We
may think, "I'm worried about John's drinking," but we never
mention this to John. We may avoid telling the truth because
we fear the conflicts that may arise from truth-telling. In the
end, though, the truth is the easiest and best thing to say. The
more we do not acknowledge what we really think and feel
toward ourselves or toward each other, the further we have
gone from the Holy One.
Perhaps the secret of saying what we mean is to say to
ourselves, "How would Jesus say this? How can I say it with
love?" Each day we are confronted with choices about what
we say and do. If we focus on the Christ within, then our
words and actions will reflect God to others. Saying what we
mean and meaning what we say can require an enormous
amount of will power at times, especially if we are not
accustomed to it. Some of us may have lied all our lives about
how we feel, what we think, who we are. Yet if we are patient
with ourselves and open ourselves to the loving Creator, then
saying what we mean becomes easier, for we begin to realize
ourselves fully as the whole persons God meant us to be.
Today, let your words be an expression of the godliness within
you. Tell the truth to yourself and those around you. Let your
day be an overwhelming "yes" to yourself, to God, and to
God's will for your life.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989