I am reading yet another book that I have found rather intriguing. I am going to wait and share the title later for a couple reason, but one I want to finish it before it becomes one that I recommend.
In the book, the author briefly touches on Matthew 5:33-37. I have never read it like he presented it, but in the context of other books that I have read and what I believe about the Bible, I would say it makes perfect sense.
What if when Christ is saying "simply let your yes be yes and your no be no" was actually talking about our walk more than anything. When Christ asked someone to follow Him, it was like asking them to be His student. He wanted them to take an oath that they would follow Him no matter what. That is why we have illustrations of those who refused. They wanted to hang onto something. They wanted to be able to follow and do what they wanted.
Is that the same for us? Have we been guilty of saying "Yes" we want to follow Christ, but also saying I want to do my thing too? It seems so simple, but Christ says anything other than a "Yes" or a "No" is of Satan. Are we saying yes, but putting stipulations? Telling God that we will follow Him as long as He doesn't ask us to do ________, or to give up ________, or befriend ___________.
One book I don't mind recommending is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I read it quite a while back and loved how it challenged us to give up everything to follow Christ. No matter what Christ asks you, you say "Yes" to. It's a hard life to live when so often we want to say, "Sure, I can do that, but I also want to do this."
I can't say that I am perfect at this by any means, but it makes me question if there are things in my life that I am still holding on to. Things where I am telling God, "Yes," and in my heart I am adding "but."
To somewhat borrow from the author, "If you say yes to something, it means you are saying no to something else."