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Although it's a well known verse, it was meaningful to me in a new way as I read it:
Let what you say be simply "Yes" or "No," anything more than this comes from evil. --Matthew 5:37 NASB
Usually I just read on past that verse, but this time I asked myself, "What 'evil' could be avoided if I just said yes or no? And what evil intentions are revealed in me when I don't?"
I came up with this list:
- defending myself
- trying to impress others
- contempt for others (even myself)
- excessive words
- criticizing others
Wow. I was surprised. Definitely some striking thoughts.
Now, certainly, we can still do and say those things in other ways, but how much of it would be diminished if we only said "yes" or "no."
Here's a little spiritual exercise for you and me. Let's practice diminishing our words of explanation, defending, and anything else that comes from "evil" motives.
As we do, notice what is going on in our hearts. How are we not trusting God? How are we trying to manipulate the situation? What does God want to show us about ourselves or Himself?
Shall we try for three days of really concentrating on this? If you want, let me know you're "in" and then comment on what you learned.
And from those who do, I'll draw a winner of Never Ever Be the Same.