Yes and No

"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."  Matthew 5:37

So I watched a presidential political debate recently (and, no, I won't tell you which party............though I have seen debates of both parties so far).  What struck me was the lack of clarity on virtually any issue by any candidate (except a couple who are really outspoken and deeply positioned).  But then I remembered that it is the nature of the political beast.

Right now, the presidential race in America is up for grabs.  All candidates are trying to do is to not say anything really stupid, or get caught doing anything that may, fairly or unfairly, make them look like a psycho (note to self: the phrase "yeeeee haaaaaaa" really loud and animated won't garner any votes).  It stinks really, this whole we do the best we can.  But the burr in the saddle for me is when people won't just say what they believe - they just won't!  That must be a characteristic of a president I would think, because we should know for whom we are voting and what they really think about things.  I wish that "Yes" meant "Yes" and "is" meant "is" and we didn't have to wordsmith everything down to sheer nothingness.  But, this is what comes when we feel the need to manipulate.

Jesus doesn't like manipulation.  It's against His nature, and He doesn't like seeing it imposed on His creation either.  That's why he told the people listening to Him on a grassy hillside that all the swearing of oaths and swearing on your mama's grave and swearing on a stack of Bibles, etc. is not fitting for a kingdom hearted citizen.  Because all that swearing was really aimed at manipulation - getting your way - and Jesus says that is not how His kingdom works.

His kingdom is one of freedom and core integrity.  That means if you want in the kingdom, you have access no matter what your previous status.  It also means that if you don't want in, He won't force you there.  But what it means for a kingdom citizen is that we don't have to manipulate anyone to get our way, or trump up our position by swearing up and down how much we are telling the truth.  Truth tellers who have a reputation for truth telling need only say 'Yes' or 'No' and that will suffice.

What a kingdom that will be.  'Yes' will mean 'Yes' and 'No' will mean 'No'.  No hidden agenda, no manipulation, no positioning.  It will be without guile.

Maybe Jesus wants us to live that way now.  Maybe that is part of what He meant when He taught us to pray "Your Kingdom Come......on earth as it is in heaven."  Hmmmmm, you think so?  Well, I think I know what Jesus would say.