But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matthew 5: 37)
The use of the double wording isn't a typo and it wasn't because Christ had a stuttering problem. Just as he often said verily, verily to discuss important things, Christ is telling us how to answer in the affirmative when something is important. We need to let people need to know that we are all in when we are willing to get involved. Saying we'll be happy to help if something doesn't come up isn't going to instill confidence in others. As a result, opportunities that matter like missions trips, ministry teams and other Kingdom opportunities will pass us by because people will see us as noncommittal. Moreover, when God comes looking, He won't trust us to follow through if we aren't able to go all in.
No, it's not a dance maneuver. It's an affirmative denial of something. When opportunities that could pull us away from God come, giving halfhearted denials won't send the tempting party in the other direction. People, situations and the enemy will keep coming after us if we don't stand up and draw a line in the sand. God has given us territory. If we don't make a boundary that is clear and defined, though, there won't be any territory left for us to hold onto.
Anything more comes from evil
If it takes more than an emphatic yes or no for us to get involved or move away from something, we're trying too hard. We don't have to pump up our words. If we are men and women of character, our past will speak for our present. Even if we've had a dark or grey past, our current actions can help to reinforce our yes and no. We don't need to attach qualifiers to any promises or guarantees we make. If we do everything unto God in our hearts, our yes will be yes and our no will be no. That's the best gift we can give others. It's the best way to build our character. With those two in place, it's the best place to move our calling and purpose in God forward.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.