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Let Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No

February 14, 2011

Don’t you love this bit from yesterday’s gospel?

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Can you imagine how much heartache, misunderstanding and general contentiousness could be avoided if people actually followed that?

I think it’s an antidote to a substantial piece of what ails our materially prosperous modern culture. It’s a pet theory of mine that when people lack genuine hardships in their lives, many of them have a tendency to fabricate their own hardships through complex interpretations and second guessing of what other people say and think and things like that (I am certainly guilty of this at times too!). If you’re not fighting for your life or working your tail off, it’s very easy to fall into hyper-sensitive self consciousness.

Besides keeping ourselves busy with worthwhile tasks, I think a necessary part of surviving our modern culture is to make a concerted and consistent push towards simplicity (and that this gospel is a great place to start).

What do you think?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angie permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:03 am

    WOW. This hits the nail right on the head. I am totally struggling with this right now and had yet to hear it explained so clearly. Thank you for the post. It has given me some real insight.

  2. February 17, 2011 7:18 am

    Yes, I invoked this when talking to my daughters the other day. There was a disagreement about something, and one said, “You promised ….” and the other responded, “I never PROMISED,” and I knew a conversation about nuances and conditions and what ifs was about to ensue, so I jumped in with “Your word should always be as good as a promise.”

    I agree with your pet theory and I know I’ve been guilty of it, too, but I think you’re right — simplicity, honesty, and I’d add genuine gratitude for the many things that do keep us from fighting for our lives or working our tails off.

    • February 17, 2011 7:58 am

      Great point about being grateful for not fighting for our lives or working our tails off!

      I also have been chewing over my own pet theory and am inclined to think that it works a little differently for children. Under the right conditions, their free time will lead to wholesome playtime (not without squabbles, naturally). I feel like there’s a whole philosophy of leisure waiting to be explored in there if I only had the key. 🙂

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