My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I want to talk to you about a simple yet profound truth we often forget daily. It is the power of saying "NO" - a complete sentence.
We live in a world where saying "yes" often seems the only option. We say "yes" to social obligations, career pressures, family responsibilities, and personal demands. We say "yes" to please others, prove our worth, or avoid conflict. But in the process, we must remember the value of our time, energy, and priorities. However, the Bible tells us that saying "no" is not only permissible but also necessary to obey God's will and honor our own selves. In Matthew 5:37, Jesus says, "Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no. Anything more than this is from the evil one."
In other words, we should not make promises we cannot keep or commitments we do not want to fulfill. We should discern what God wants us to do and what He does not and act accordingly.
Furthermore, we see examples of Biblical characters who said "no" with God's guidance and approval.
Moses said "no" to Pharaoh's offer of wealth and power in Egypt, leading His people out of slavery instead (Hebrews 11:24-26).
David said "no" to King Saul's deceitful proposal to become his son-in-law, knowing that it would harm his relationship with God and his mission to serve Him (1 Samuel 18:17-30).
Paul said "no" to his desire to visit Corinth because he knew it would cause more harm than good to the church, and he wanted to promote unity and holiness (2 Corinthians 1:15-24, 13:10).
Therefore, we should not feel guilty or ashamed to say "no" when necessary. It is a sign of wisdom, faith, and self-respect. Saying "no" does not mean we do not love or care for others, but we love and care for ourselves and God more. Saying "no" can also create opportunities for others to grow, learn, and serve as they step up to take our place or find alternative solutions. Saying "no" can also lead us to discover new passions, gifts, and opportunities that align with our calling and purpose.
Also, saying "no" does not mean being rude, selfish, or stubborn. We can speak "no" with kindness, clarity, and alternatives. We can explain why we declined an invitation, request, or expectation and offer suggestions or referrals. We can also express our thanks and appreciation for the relationship, trust, or consideration involved. Saying "no" can enhance our communication, empathy, and respect for others as we learn to value their time, energy, and priorities.
In conclusion, my dear Brothers and Sisters, remember that "no" is a complete sentence and liberating and life-giving sentence. We can say "no" to anything that hinders our faith, health, or happiness and say "yes" to God's will, love, and joy.
May we have the courage, wisdom, and grace to say "no" when needed, and may we experience the blessings and growth that come with it.
God bless you all.