"Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil."
Years ago I heard a televangelist asking folks to take a vow to support his ministry. Often churches ask members to pledge financial support to them. There are all sorts of ways that religious folks seem to contradict the spirit of what Jesus is saying here. And in these days of litigation and civil lawsuits it seems harder and harder to answer simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
I think that the delineation between these two approaches is the difference between the head and the heart. The head is all about rationalizing and complexity. The focus of the heart is wisdom and simplicity. In a sense wisdom is all about sifting through complex issues and coming to a place where we are able to say, with our heart, yes or no.
Lord, give me the wisdom of heart to be able to say yes or no.