“Do Not Swear At All”
At least part of Jesus’ meaning seems to be that it is pointless to swear by anything that doesn’t really belong to us, that we don’t control, and the destiny of which isn’t in our hands—and that eliminates our swearing by anything.
Lord, keep us constantly mindful of the fact that everything belongs to you and that we are recipients of your great blessings and that we are stewards and caretakers of your great creation.
Guard us from an arrogance that would cause us to use what does not belong to us as collateral to support our standing and our statements.
Guard us as well from a tendency to inflate falsely the value and meaning of our words by appeal to an authority outside ourselves.
Cause us to grow in our awareness of who we are and of who we aren’t so that our words will come from the center of our being and that will be authority enough.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 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 one hair white or black.” (Matthew 5:33-36)