“But let your ‘Yes,’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37, NKJV)
The choices we face … daily … the situations we find ourselves in … daily … whether by our own making or by someone else’s making … range from the smallest most insignificant to the most important involving relationship with both God and others.
And it is the nature of some of these choices to be so difficult to effect … that we can find ourselves trying to hide away somewhere like the prophet Elijah did in the cave.
It is also the nature of some of these choices to be so challenging, serious, and heavy-hearted … that we would really just like to bury our heads in the sand … escape … and wait for them to pass!
But they don’t pass … and the longer we delay in making a decision … the more the situation compounds itself into even greater consequences.
We can reach that point where we are almost willing to do anything to not have to think about it or make some sort of decision! Have you been to this uncomfortable place? Most if not all of us have … and it is not a vacation spot!
Jesus was teaching in Matthew 5:37 that the words we speak are to come from an honest and sincere heart. A heart that considers, measures, and speaks with integrity. All of which require forethought, prayer, and a desire above all else to honor the Lord!
It is when we give little to no thought to our ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that we find ourselves conflicted, unhappy, in a real bind … and if we’re not careful … in a bad light with our God! Note Ephesians 4:15, 29.
The world we live in challenges us every day to make the choice of good over evil … of right over wrong … of sin over obedience! And the enticement … the pressure … the appeal … the force is strong. Will it be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the pull of the world?
Our work relationships can challenge us every day to make the choice of spending more time at work than at home with our families … limiting, even more, our time to work in the Lord’s kingdom and to be with the Lord’s people! Will it be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the pull of work over family, the Lord, the kingdom?
Our families and even our friends can make requests … even to the extent of demands … that we are uncomfortable with … that we’re just not sure about … or that we may just not want to even grant! Will we err on the side of caution and truth as our guide? Or will we give a ‘yes’ when a ‘no’ is the better choice?
Is there a “this” that you are having a hard time saying ‘no’ to? Do we really want the “this” that is burdening down our hearts, minds, and lives to define us and be the story of our journey?
Do we answer with a ‘yes’ to some request that causes discomfort and a sense of uneasiness just to get it off of our plates of responsibility and off of our minds?
Do we answer with a ‘no’ to some request that causes discomfort and a sense of uneasiness just to get it off of our plates of responsibility and off of our minds?
What we must understand is that saying “NO” has been a part of life since the events of the Garden! God said, “Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil …” He was saying NO … for their own good … their own welfare … they’re own life!
I realize as parents, spouses, employees, employers, brothers, and sisters in Christ … there are times we can and should say yes!
But there are also times when … for someone else’s benefit … for our own benefit … we must find the courage … and yes, the love … to say NO! Read Matthew 10:37-39.
What are the guidelines for saying ‘no’? Do we have any? Are there boundaries to be set? Absolutely! Are there values to be honored? God says there are! If I say ‘yes’ … have I compromised by faith … have I enabled someone else to stay in sin or become involved in sin … are we more worried about what they think about us … than what is right/wrong …we must be honest within our own hearts because the Lord knows already!
How many times have we enabled our own selves to commit to something that will take us away from valuable time with the Lord, His people, our families?
How many times have we enabled our own selves to do something that will not in any way be considered productive in our walk as Christians? Read 2 Corinthians 13:7.
How many times have we just enabled our own selves to flat out go against God’s Word … because that is what we want to do?
How many times have we simply enabled a loved one or a friend to continue in a lifestyle that is neither productive nor right in God’s eyes … because we couldn’t/wouldn’t say NO!
We must always remember the words of Jesus Christ when He clearly said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)
Be Brave! Take Courage! Say ‘YES’ to God in all things!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.