Saturday, July 7, 2018
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:33-37
Perjury is the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry. ”
We hear much about the matter of perjury in the political and criminal news of our times. You often hear the phrase …”but what will he say once he is under oath?” I think Christ might be more concerned with “what will he say even if he is not under oath?”
Truth is truth. A falsehood laden by a thousand oaths is still a falsehood. A falsehood rationalized as actually being the truth is still a falsehood. A falsehood spoken in support of a cause is still a falsehood. No, no matter how you spin it, no matter how your disguise it and twist it, a falsehood is a falsehood, never to be turned into a truth by one’s own will and desire that it be the truth.
Let your “Yes” be actually a true and accurate “Yes”, and let your “No” be actually a true and accurate “No”. It is rather simple once you untangle the defensive or deceptive rationalizations. Seek to speak the truth not as you yourself define the truth but as the integrity of God defines the Truth.
Why do we lie? Because we fear to be exposed. Because we fear to be found inadequate. Because we fear to be found needing to confess and needing to change.
I find it takes constant vigilance and ongoing self-examination to keep one’s “Yes” as a pure “Yes” and one’s “No” as a pure “No”.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz