What does it mean to you to swear? I know with me that I take it to mean four letter bad words. In this verse, that is not what James is saying.
Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned. (vs. 12 NIV)
You should not have to say “I swear” about anything you ever say. Your integrity should be enough. You are to allow your answer stand on its own merit. We do not do that in our society. We do not stress this within the church. Why not? Because we need the drama? Maybe because we are not careful about our tongues and really watch what it says.
Today think of the words that come out of your mouth. Are you exaggerating all the time? Do you tell little white lies? Find out exactly what you do and then pray about how to prevent it.