(4) The fourth illustration has to do with being genuine and keeping our promises.
Your character should be so honest that people who know you know they can believe what you say. Words depend on character, and oaths can’t compensate for poor character. You and I are to be trustworthy the way God is trustworthy.
As God’s people you and I are to be known as utterly truthful all the time, no promise given that we don’t intend to keep, no careless words, no sudden “I swear to [you know what] I’m not kidding, cross my heart and hope to die, this is the truth, I really mean it this time.”
That includes carrying through as a parent – no meaningless threats, no extravagant promises, just consistent follow-through of doing what you said you would do.
Jesus said that by our words we will be justified and by our words we will be condemned.
Our words end up revealing what’s really in our hearts.
"Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'" (Matthew 5:37 ESV)
What would it be like if you had a little tape recorder, and recorded everything you said for the next whole week? It would only be revealing, of course, once you forgot it was on, so you didn’t use your company manners. Anything you and I say that does not flow from the new life the Holy Spirit gives within us is sin,
"...anything more than this comes from evil." (Matthew 5:37 ESV)