One of the teachings from the gospels that impacted my actions the most was this one from Matthew 5:37: “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”
What Jesus is calling us to do is to live in truth. Because when we bypass the truth, for whatever reason, we embrace evil.
At first this passage from the gospel was eye opening for me when it came to significant events and relationships in my life. But only now am I being able to apply it to my everyday life.
A common outcome in my relationships was that I would bottle up what seemed to be small, unimportant issues. Only to experience them pile up overtime and become a big deal.
And what was the big deal? That right at the start I said “Yes, I will” when, deep inside, I meant “No, I won’t”.
For the sake of being flexible, I would often avoid saying “No, I won’t” unless it was something important to me. And let me tell you, I was very misguided about that.
We have to always live in truth, no exceptions. It does take being thoughtful, so we don’t crush others. But there are ways to say “No, I won’t” without hurting people’s feelings.
In any given situation, it is always possible to suggest something different that aligns with our conscience. This way, we can enjoy the peace that comes with living in truth. And, at the same time, embody Jesus’ teachings to people that we care about.