“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, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Matthew 5 : Matthew 5 : 33 – 37
During the lockdown there has been a clear absence of sport on our TV’s. Wimbledon, the Olympics, football, golf, etc, etc, have been relegated to re-runs. Only now are they beginning to restart with social distancing rules in place. When you think about it, at the core of any sport is the idea of competition. Proving one person or team is better than another. Each side is out to beat the other, which allows them to revel in victory and to lord it over the losers. Who wants to be a loser when you can be a winner?
That level of competition can also creep into our conversation where we try and tell a better story than anyone else or try to get more laughs.
In ancient times this competition could get you into real trouble. Read the story of how Herod’s boasting led to the death of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12) as an example. With Jesus, he really wasn’t interested in anyone being the best or the greatest. He didn’t care for big words or big gestures. He would much rather people were faithful to God.
Every day he saw people posturing to be this or that and knew it counted for nothing, and always he brought it back to people’s relationship with God.
Prayer: Father, give me the wisdom to know when I should be quiet and when I should speak up. Give me wisdom to know when I should act and when I should remain still. Above all, give me the wisdom to recognise when it’s about my ego and not about you.
Action: Reflect on who you are as a child of God. What could better that?