July 17, 2017 – Monday
Matthew 5:37 [ESV] Let what you say be simply “Yes” or “No”; anything more than this comes from evil.
John 8:31(b)-32 [ESV] If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
There was a time I liked listening to the news driving to work each morning. But increasingly I’m bothered by all the spin. Oh, I know the problems we face are quite complex. There are so many gray areas; very little of the world is denotative. Yet we seem to have grown comfortable with rationalization, partial truth, and alternate facts. Doesn’t matter what the issue is, whether in your country or in my community, and no philosophy or ideology has a monopoly on spin. But when did we get so mesmerized by it?
Maybe spin has always been there. This may be why Jesus addresses the issue of swearing falsely and giving incomplete testimony. Quite possibly, this is why He teaches that all is needed is a simple yes or no. For if you and I live in His word, we will know the truth, and the truth – not rationalization, partial truth, and alternative facts – will set us free.
As a Christian public servant, you are judged by what you say. Many hope your words come from evil. And the more words you use, the greater the chances those words will be steamed in rationalization, partial truth, and alternate facts.
If you practice a simple yes or no at work today, telling the truth concisely yet completely as His word leads you, then your spin will go away. And the spin used by others may just follow. And soon, perhaps the spin of the whole world will follow suite.
Who knows, soon the news driving home from work might just abide in His word. And it will set us all free!
Father God, today at work, let me abide in You. Let me remove my own rationalization, partial truth, and alternate facts. Let the truth in You set others free – in my workplace and throughout the world. In Your son’s name, I pray. Amen.
James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Department of Public Policy and Administration
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA