“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” —Matthew 5:37 NKJV

During the days of the early church, thousands lost their lives because they would not say two words: Kaiser Kurios, which means “Caesar is Lord.” That’s because they understood that words matter.

You may remember the story of Rachel Scott. She was one of the 13 people who were killed at Columbine High School. Rachel, 17, was a strong Christian and very involved in her youth group.

On April 20, 1999, armed students began shooting people on Rachel’s high school campus. They came to Rachel and shot her twice in the legs and once in the torso. Then they left, only to return moments later. Lifting her by the head, they asked, “Do you believe in God?” Rachel understood that the words she chose would have serious consequences.

These godless men would take her life if she said yes, and perhaps even if she said no. But without hesitation, Rachel said, “You know I do!”

“Then go be with him,” responded one of the boys before shooting her in the head. Rachel received a martyr’s crown that day, I am sure. What would you have said under such circumstances?

Rachel understood that words matter.

Jesus said, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37). In other words, the things you say should be free of duplicity or deceit, and no one should have any reason to doubt your words. Your words should be in alignment with your actions.

On our wedding day, before family and friends and before the pastor, we say “I do!” And when temptation calls, we dig in and firmly say “I won’t.” And when Jesus calls us to follow Him wholeheartedly, we say, “I will.”

Words matter. So use them wisely