To decide what verses to study, I started in the New Testament and located the first chapter that had a verse 33 in order to correspond with the 33 days that existed before I have my birthday. I actually started a day before so that I could make sure that I didn’t lose focus.
Oh! Special thanks to Stephanie Amber who suggested that I make a list of 32 things to do before I turn 32. This is my twist on that idea. Thank you, friend.
#1 – Matthew 5:33-37 (The Message)
And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, “I’ll pray for you,” and never doing it, or saying “God be with you,” and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say “yes” and “no.” when you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.
This is a very difficult concept for me. As a creative person, my natural tendency is to want to embellish everything so that it’s tied up nice an neat in a little package with a pretty little bow. The hard reality is that things aren’t always tidy and they certainly aren’t always beautiful.
Side note: this passage in my Bible (The Message) is titled “empty promises.” I thank God that His promises aren’t empty like those of humans are.
I’m really being challenged to let my “yes be yes” and my “no be no.” I oftentimes want to explain why a certain answer was given but I’m learning (albeit slowly!) that when I’m following the Spirit, no explanation is needed. I’m going to dare to not say I’m praying for people unless I seriously mean it. And I’m going to try to pray more, and more specifically.
Father, help me to be more full of love and willing to pray for others. Help me as I say what I mean and mean what I say. Don’t let me manipulate with words or make empty promises. Help me to be more like You. Abba, help me to be a woman of my word. Amen.