Sunday, October 9, 2011

Can you say no and mean it?

Have you ever thought about  how many times we have said to our children, "Don't tell me no"? Think about it. We tell our children not to tell us no, but then again we teach them to be yes people. Not so much through our words, but through our actions. This can be a vicious cycle and a message that can get out of hand.

We ask people, "Well, don't you know what no means?" We expect them to answer with a mighty and humble, yes. But in teaching no, do we ourselves teach the correct form of no? We teach our daughters to say no to young men, but in our daily lives we are constantly teaching them to say yes so we can be accepted and liked by all around us. Isn't that a mixed up message? For instance, we teach them to say no to a young man's advances, but when Ms. Julie calls and wants us to help at the bake sale when we know we cannot, we smile and say, "Of course, I will be there to help in any way I can." We teach no, but we continue to say, yes, even when we don't want to.

The older I get the easier it is for me to say no. I was one of those yes girls who didn't want to make anyone mad and I had the thinking as a Christian that if there was a job to do the Lord wanted me to say yes to everything. That simply isn't true. There are a lot of things He wants us to say no to. If we didn't say no to some jobs there wouldn't be room for others to receive a hearty yes. We say yes when the Holy Spirit prompts us to say yes. We don't say yes out of guilt or thinking a good Christian must say yes to everything.

We give our children a mixed message about saying no. On one hand we teach them to stand up for themselves and say no, but on the other we teach them to say yes because that is just what Christians do. We give until we have nothing left to give. I don't see that is what Christ wants from us. He doesn't want us to be run down Christians only saying yes for all the wrong reasons. He wants us to say yes with passion and be on fire for all He has for us. If we are run down and give out we aren't going to have the energy to give our very best.

Have you ever said yes to something, only later wishing you would have said no? We almost use no as it is a bad word in the Christian language. Let me make it easy for you. It's okay to say, NO! When you say no, stand in your no decision and be positive. When you say yes, do so with a passion and a knowledge that you are to move forward with that yes.

We cannot teach our children to say no if we are unable to do so ourselves. It is that very no that can protect them and give them power. Our children will ask us a question and we say, no. They ask again and again. Instead of us continuing our no answer, we give in and say yes. What is this teaching them? Do you know what happens next? We get mad because we have now said yes!

We cannot teach our children there is a double standard to saying no. No is no! This is why no one listens when no is said any longer. So friends, lets learn to say no and teach our children that no is not a bad word. We too can share that when God says no, He isn't turning away from us, but giving a yes for us in the future. We can teach that the word no can be positive.

"Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough." Josh Billings

"Learn to say “no.” It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin." Charles H. Spurgeon


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