In this post I want to focus on decision making or what we might call the dichotomy of yes and no. Like 1’s and 0’s in computer language, life is a combination of these two words.
When tested for diseases, we long to hear, “No, found nothing! All is clear!” But a No in that situation is really a Yes to life. It’s a new lease and we love to hear it.
In spite of No being the best response in some situations, we still like hearing Yes more.
When asking for help or a personal day or permission from parents, “Yes!” sounds like a million dollars. It’s like winning a mini lottery.
But we aren’t always subject to the judgments of others or unpredictable circumstances. Sometimes, in fact very often, we sit in the Yes/No driver’s seat. Every decision we make involves a yes or a no answer. Sometimes it’s a little of both.
Even Indecision eventually becomes No.
The point is, Yes and No are unavoidable. There’s no bench warming in life. Yes and No make us a part of the game and Jesus had something to say about this dichotomy.
You have heard that it was said by them of old time, you shall not forswear yourself, but shall perform unto the Lord your oaths. But I say unto you, swear not at all. Neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne, nor by the earth, for it is his footstool. Neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, yea yea or nay nay, for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil. Matthew 5:33-37
First let me address the problematic words. There are two: forswear and swear. They are opposites. A dichotomy of sorts.
Swearing is the strongest kind of promise you can make. If you swear to something, you have, in a sense, guaranteed it.
Forswearing, on the other hand, is what we call it when a person fails to follow through. They swear to do something and then fail to keep the promise. Or they swear something is true only to be found lying later. [Read more…]