Integrity: Just Yes or No

“Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” —Matthew 5:37

Jesus understood that the more we talk, the less clear we can become. If we can’t say something simply, then perhaps we should reconsider what we are trying to say. When my explanations go on and on, what is happening? Am I trying to justify my behavior? Have I become argumentative, trying to pressure someone to agree with me? Or am I avoiding my true explanation, to which the listener might not be receptive?

It can take a long time to form the practice of communicating clearly. We are surrounded by half-truths and constant “spin” in the way people or companies represent themselves. We are accustomed to relentless sales pitches and exaggeration. If we answer people simply, as Jesus suggested, we might even be considered blunt or unfriendly. Jesus, show me how to do this—to speak simply and with integrity. 

Help me see my own habits of communication that need to change.

from “small simple ways: an Ignatian daybook for healthy spiritual living” by Vinita Hampton Wright, Loyola Press