A Simple Yes Will Do

April 21, 2015
by Martin Wiles

While I was growing up, Little House on the Prairie was one of my favourite television shows. One touching characteristic of the series was how the town's inhabitants trusted each other. After all, it was through teamwork and trust that the town had materialized on the American Midwest farmlands. Farmers normally had no funds to buy seed and other items needed to plant their fields. But not to worry. Charles Ingalls — like any other farmer — could saunter into Oleson's Mercantile and walk away with seed and any other needed items to plant his fields. Nels Oleson simply gave farmers the materials based on their promises to pay him when the crops came in and were sold. No paperwork to sign. No binding contracts. Just a simple promise to pay, perhaps accompanied by a handshake. Good track records and reputations led to mountains of reliance.

Trust is God's plan.

James 5:12 – But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned. (NLT)

Doubtlessly, things will never return to the good ol' days, so I must learn to obey the command in the present. As God's representative, I have the responsibility of being honest and fair in my dealings with others, even if it does involve signing paperwork, leases, or binding contracts.

Lying also enters the picture. If I'm not as good as my word, people will begin to doubt everything that I say. After all, they can't distinguish between when I might and might not be telling the truth. Like the boy who continually cried wolf, I'll find myself alone when the chips are down. Keeping my promises is critical, too. No one enjoys being the recipient of broken promises. Exaggeration is dangerous as well. The simple truth is always sufficient.

In all of the above ways, I experience being true to my word. Are you?

Prayer: Saviour, as Your representatives, may we always speak the truth and nothing but the truth. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen. Right on.


    Amen to that! Thanks for your message today.


    Thanks Martin for an on the dot devotional. Blessings.


    Dear Martim Wiles,
    Thank you for the truth-telling devotional. We all need the reminders.
    Keep writing.


    Good Martin,
    I remember those days as well. Even the corner grocery store had a tab. How did we become so far removed? The answer is in your devotional.
    Blessings and Thanks.


    Martin – “Little House on the Prairie” was one of my favorites too! I really enjoyed the insights you shared. In some ways, I wish we could go back to the old days. I think people were happier back then – and as you said, they seemed to be more trustworthy. Certainly, honesty is always the best policy.
    Blessings.


    Dear Martin:
    I can’t tell you how important I feel your message is. I had a lying father and a lying husband. They taught me to mistrust others and to be suspicious of things even when there was no need to be. Consequently, the worst offense to me is either lying or not keeping one’s word. As the wise among us know, the truth always comes out. We may as well learn to face it. When we face mistakes sooner than later, we hurt ourselves and others much less than if we leave things to fester.
    Thank you for reminding us that our word is as good or bad as we are.
    God bless you.


    Good Afternoon Martin,
    What a great message cautioning us concerning the importance of telling the truth, and obtaining a place of respect and trust from our friends and loved one.
    No one enjoys being the recipient of broken promises or being led down the garden path by someone who is dishonest and deceitful when speaking or dealing with them.
    This was a great message – Satan was indeed rejected from being part of the heavenly host because of his lies and deceitfulness and we too will one day have to answer for our wayward tongue if we mislead during our conversation or dealings.
    Thank you for this fine message, it is one that makes us look deep into our character and ask the question only we can truly answer… “Am I really an honest person or am I a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    A very fine devotional. Biblical, well-written.
    But I would have preferred not to have read:
    “In all of the above ways, I experience being true to my word. Are you?”
    Some readers might think this sounds like you think you are a “goody” and are accusing them of being less holy.
    Is this accusation the way to win friends and influence people to choose Jesus Christ?
    Might you have held out the forgiveness and the hope of Jesus Christ instead?

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