BibleOathIt is common for people accused of wrongdoing, including noted Philippine legislators, to invoke the name of God to assert their innocence. “As God is my witness, I am not guilty.” Sadly, such assertion only prompts widespread incredulity among a people that is fed up with being lied to.

Now, if we insist in including the name of God in oaths or promises, may I suggest that we try to understand what Jesus Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth… All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:33-37).

It has always been God’s will for us to be honest. Lies and falsehood have enduring impact on the victims. To buttress one’s claim of innocence by using the name of God could simply be ploy to strengthen one’s credibility. You are in danger of abusing His holy name. While swearing an oath is required in several legal contexts, Jesus commands us to be people of integrity and to have an unqualified respect for truth–even without oaths. His requirement is simple: be completely honest in whatever you say–All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’

Jesus, the Truth, wants you to be like Him–a person of integrity and uprightness, whose words and actions are fully integrated. May our world be a fairer and more loving place as we relate to one another in truth and sincerity.

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