as surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been yes and no. [2 corinthians 1:18]
the expectation is clear, our word should be no more “yes and no,” than God is faithful and faithless.
do not miss this impossibility. God is faithful as faithfulness is defined in himself; likewise, our word is to be so sure that surety is characterized by our word. who could boast of that? yet paul has done precisely this and has not blasphemed.
consider for yourself, is your word so steady, so unchanging as to merit equating it to God’s holiness? or is it slack, unreliable, derelict?
by now you may be feeling convicted to amend your flakiness, your tardiness, your wavering and double-mindedness. you may be planning to make good on every neglected commitment, disciplining your flesh to lay hold of your tongue and make yourself follow its dictates (james 3:2-5).
but if we are honest, we know that in our flesh we are doomed to stumble in our words. we are fated either to be dismayed and return to our vacillation; or far worse, to become more resolute in our flesh. by our tongue, fabricating a personal law, each command more impossible than the last, clueless to the ramifications of our word, until – like jephthah – the irony of our vows are visited upon us in tragedy (judges 11:29-40).
how then could we lay hold of paul’s confidence?
it is not our word, but the Word that is in us! we are held to the will of the Father. so, we say “if the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (james 4:15). and we do nothing of our own accord, but in everything we imitate Christ. just as Christ did only what he saw the Father doing and spoke only the words the Father gave him, so we must speak and do only as we see Christ doing (john 5:19, john 12:50, john 15:10). then we have achieved single-mindedness, and a speech that is humble, yet empowered with all the authority of Christ (numbers 16:28).
today, pray earnestly to abide in Christ, that our yes can be yes and our no can be no! (matthew 5: 33-37)
~ graham bachman