Last week, I wrote about ‘letting your yes be yes’ and how standing at the fork in the road between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ can be the beginning of evil. But what about a good old fashioned, definitive, downward voice-inflected no?
Saying no and meaning it is one of the most freeing things a person can do. No brings closure. It frees up the brain for the next thing. Saying no and meaning it eliminates all of the other options. It closes the case. And that can be a blessing.
I once worked on a real estate project requiring a road to cross over a creek. Working with an engineer, we came up with a plan. It was safe, attractive and a lot cheaper than building a bridge. Problem was we’d have to go before the county’s zoning board for approval. I carefully planned my five-minute pitch to explain our application before they voted on it. The time came. I rose, nervously said my name into the microphone, and started my pitch on what we wanted to do. Instantly, the Chairman of the board began shaking his head from side to side. The others looked at him in agreement. It was the longest four and a half minutes of my life. The no vote took seconds. But it was over. I looked at the engineer and said, “Well . . . thank you, Lord. That was clear!” We built the more expensive bridge, the project was successful, and that bridge became the beautiful centerpiece of the neighborhood. But it started with no.
We hate saying no because “maybe” or “let’s think about it” keeps our options open. But sometimes it’s better to shut down those options. To be crisp, clean, and clear. And men, don’t take this as a license to stop listening to and collaborating with your wife and kids. I’m only saying that when the truth is there and the choice is clear, saying no is freeing and provides the quickest way to life aligned with God’s will for yourself and your entire family.
No sooner than Jesus began His public ministry, He found Himself tempted by Satan. To the offer of provision, to presumption upon His Father’s power and to the idolatry of earthly power, Jesus simply said, “No.”
Here’s a principle . . .
The Holy Spirit will never lead you to say yes to something that conflicts with what Jesus said or did.
Don’t let the temptation to be liked or cool or funny or rich or famous or in control complicate your life. Say no and mean it.
Scripture: All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)