Walk the talk

52b3f-walkthetalkLiving by what we say is a core value in life as it is significant for trust and growth in both personal and professional life. When our actions matches our words, people trust us and the cost of not keeping words is expensive. In normal situations most of us try to keep our words. What about when you are pushed to the limits? Do you keep your words? Does it really matter to keep words in such times?

12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment-James 5:12

In today’s world, there is no real obligation to keep our words. We may have seen this in our lives or witnessed in others. Unless it is in writing or documented, no one is held accountable for their words. But there is real difference in trust based on keeping words. James talked about many topics in his letter including problems, acting in faith, patience etc., While wrapping up his letter he highlights keeping words over other topics. Why is this so significant above others?

10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.-James 5:10-11

This deals with the core of what James outlined in his letter, faith in practice. He wants to see others to live life based on the word of God and not just be a hearer. Just in previous verses he was talking about adverse situations in life in which we are more vulnerable. Adversity reveals our true character. Our belief system plays a major role when we are pushed to the breaking point. Keeping our words need faith during such times and it can reveal the true state of our faith.

11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”-James 3:11-12

James wants the reader to have the true faith in God with which we can be sure to honest in our words at all times, either good or bad. As in the above text, same tree cannot bear different fruits. Yes, it will be challenging and difficult to maintain our integrity at all times. In faith, we should strive to keep our words to God and people at all times.

When we don’t have this faith in action, we depend on other alternatives to support our word. In the times of James, people used to swearing in the name of God or other important valuables in life for all kinds of everyday words. Most of the times it was without a valid cause, unnecessary, customary and even to support their lie. James warns this kind of behavior as this undermines the faith in us. We don’t need to invoke these kind of swearing to keep our words instead we should be able to keep our words with a simple affirmation or denial. Let our actions be consistent to our words making our yes, yes and no, no.

Few months ago, i read an article about an honest man. It was about a religious teacher who needed a desk, searched it in internet and picked it up. But to his surprise he found a bag with around $100,000 inside the old desk. What did he do? he called up the previous owner who seem to have locked her inheritance and forgot about it. This man is not rich and maintaining a middle class life. The lady who sold it did not complain and no on else knew about it. But still he held his integrity. When asked about this he said, he answers to a higher authority. His action was inline with his word.

When times gets tough and keeping words may not seem a possibility or a priority. But it defines the truth in us. Do you have the faith in action to maintain integrity in your words ?

Photo Credit: kevint3141

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