“Shut up when I'm talking to you...”
Matthew 5:37a, “But let your 'yes' mean 'yes' and 'no' mean 'no'...”
There's an awful lot of interpretation in everyday life for seemingly straightforward instructions. Apparently there's a lot of ambiguity left to chance with ordinary phrases used in daily conversations. I've seen this a lot otherwise I wouldn't believe it myself. Let me give several clarifying (hopefully) examples of what I mean.
You have a job and you start to work at your job on Monday morning at 8am. This is a new job let's say, for the sake of discussion, and you have someone meeting you at the front of the office building to guide your through the introductions and show you around. They start the same time as you.
One person shows up in the parking lot at 7:45am and another shows up in the parking lot at 8:00 on the dot. What's the problem? The problem for the person showing up at 8:00 is that unless you work in the parking lot you're late.
Another person makes an appointment, with the doctor, with the car mechanic or with the sweedish meatball expert, take your pick. They cancel at the last minute. Some will call with a verifiably decent excuse. Others will simply call and cancel, no excuse. Some will fail to call at all. So the appointment where that person was going to offer you a service, charge for it, and make money, is now gone. Maybe the cancellation is no big deal but maybe it is, maybe they need that money.
Last example, you catch a ride with someone and they agree to a meet up at a specific spot at a certain time. You are running late and you call and tell them. Now, whatever the reason for your lateness you have inconvenienced your ride in multiple ways. They have wasted time, in waiting for you, they have spent gas in driving to where you are meeting and now, if they wait for you, they have to spend more time and gas waiting for you and risk being late to where you are both going.
All these are minor examples, they happen every day. But I see some people treat them as if it's no big deal that they have inconvenienced other people and make lame excuses for it. I see the opposite as well, some people are terribly sorry and genuinely embarrassed by making others wait for them.
How much different would life be if we kept all our obligations, no matter what? Granted that's not possible but what if we really worked to make it so. Sacrificing getting ready and looking our best, to taking time off in order to keep our appointment we forgot about. Would that make an impact on how we set about scheduling our time and keeping our commitments?
It would be interesting to see what the results would be, they might just be great...