Impeccable to the end

James 5:12

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book several years ago called The Four Agreements. In it, he shares Toltec philosophy for living a happy life. While not remotely Christian, the actual agreements themselves have biblical undertones. For me, it is evidence that God makes Himself known through His creation and in multiple ways (Romans 1 &2). The first agreement finds a corollary in James 5: be impeccable with your word. James says, “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.'” It seems so simple. Say what you mean; mean what you say. Do what you say you will do. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

James 5:12


It seems simple, but we struggle with the simplicity of it. We hedge our bets with ‘maybe’ or we try to add emphasis by swearing on whatever we think will impress people (the Bible, God, heaven, someone’s life or grave- you’ve heard them all.) Being impeccable with our words means being trustworthy without needing any extraneous explanation or convincing. Making ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ be ‘no’ speaks to a character of integrity, which comes from drawing near to God and establishing our hearts in Him. We don’t need to complain or argue or want what we don’t have when we are reliant on the Father. And relying on the Father gives us the confidence to speak clearly and with integrity.

Be impeccable with your word; let yes and no mean what they mean. If we speak with the wisdom of God, we will see that we can be steadfast no matter what, knowing that what we say is God-glorifying truth.

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