David Jeremiah Daily Devotionals August 20 2022 :
But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
Recommended Reading: Matthew 5:33-37
The author of the book of James was the half-brother of Jesus. It should come as no surprise, then, to find echoes of some of Jesus’ teachings in James’ epistle—like James’ emphasis (“above all”) on not using an oath to guarantee the fidelity of one’s words.
Jesus spoke at length on this subject in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:33-37). Oaths, or promises, were not forbidden in the Old Testament, but by the time Jesus arrived they had become a casual way to convince others of one’s integrity. And there were warnings against making an oath, then not fulfilling it (Numbers 30:1-2). Solomon wrote that it was better not to swear an oath than to swear and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5:4-7). Instead of prohibiting oaths, James and Jesus made a person’s character the main point: Let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No” be “No.”
Above all, be a person whose word can be trusted. Don’t rely on oaths (“I promise”) to convince others you are speaking the truth.
The life of an honest man is an oath.