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What does the Bible mean when it says you must swear to your own hurt?

Let's first examine the Scripture to which you refer.
LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
(Ps. 15:1-4 KJV)
We know from the New Testament that we must accept Jesus as our Savior in order to get to Heaven (Rom. 10:8-17). This section of Scripture is referring to the one who will have close fellowship with God while living on the earth.

In order to get close to God we must be honorable in these areas of our lives. The latter part of verse four says that God wants us to swear to our own hurt and change not. Notice how the New International Bible translates this verse: "who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts" (Ps. 15:4).

When the Bible talks about swearing to your own hurt and not changing, it's referring to being a man or woman of your word. If you make a promise - keep it - even if it takes great effort or it hurts you. God places a very high priority on being people of our word.

It's so wonderful when you know someone who does what they say they are going to do.

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