Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say


Now above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath.Your “yes” must be “yes” and your “no” must be “no,” so that you won’t fall under judgment. — James 5:12


Recently a young Notre Dame fan suffering from brain cancer was brought to the attention of the Irish’s head football coach. The sick ten-year-old was a major Notre Dame fan and was nearing the end of his life, so the coach decided to pay him a visit. After a several-hour visit with the young fan, his mother noted that it was the first time in months she had seen her son smile.

Prior to leaving, the coach asked if there was anything he could do for him. The young man asked if he could call the first offensive play of the team’s next game. The coach promised he would honor that request and asked what the play would be. The young man replied, “Pass right.”

Sadly, the young fan passed away the day before the game. After the opening kickoff, the Irish found themselves on their own one-yard line for their first offensive play—not the place for a pass. Before going on to the field, the quarterback asked the coach what play to run. Without any hesitation the coach told him to run the young man’s play. It resulted in a thirteen-yard gain, but it meant so much more than that. A very important lesson was taught to every player and anyone else who heard this story. The coach gave his word, and he honored it.

We don’t need signed contracts, blood pacts, or extra incentives. All that should matter is your word. In our everyday walk, we represent everything we are associated with: our work, teams, schools, church, and most of all, our Savior. That is why our “yes” must be “yes,” and our “no” must mean “no.”


1. Do I honor God with how I talk and how I act?
2. Do all people see me as an honest and trustworthy person?
3. Do I require more of other people than I do of myself?


Genesis 47:28–31; Matthew 5:33–37


Father, I pray that all I say and do are worthy of You. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
James 5