From a young age, for many of us, ‘No’ has probably been one of our least favourite words to hear.
Usually associated with refusal, rejection and denial – ‘No’ is almost always seen as a bad word, that stimulates negative emotions.
But have you ever realised that we can also Love with a ‘No’?
Did you know, that sometimes,
No can say – ‘You’re not ready’
No can say – ‘I want you to learn’
No can say – ‘I want you to grow’
And ultimately, No can say – ‘I want you to depend on God’.
Today I want us to understand that as friends/siblings/parents/partners – whoever we are to the people in our lives, we each have a responsibility of knowing when to say ‘No’, for the right reasons.
I get it – we would do absolutely anything for our loved ones, just to see them smile and just to make sure that everything is alright for them.
I mean we literally just spoke about being our brother and sister’s keeper on Sunday, and ensuring that we’re always there for them, so why would we now be discussing the concept of denying them of what they may request from us?
Well, what God is telling us with this post, is to ensure that we get the right balance.
Loving and caring for someone goes beyond giving them what they ask for all the time, but actually sometimes requires us to be tough and disciplined, in order to produce the best them they can be.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Whilst this word can sometimes have negative connotations, what the bible attributes to discipline are good things like self-control, wisdom, knowledge and growth.
Therefore without making the other person seem inferior, our ‘No’ can serve as good discipline, which is important in order for them to grow and learn from their situation.
Now let’s be real, some of us will struggle with this.
Particularly those of us who have fallen into a cycle with a friend or family member who keeps finding themselves in the same situation as a result of poor decisions. Each time they cry for help, we run to their rescue.
Firstly, God bless you for your diligence in supporting them all the time. And please don’t entertain any feelings of guilt as you now read this post, but rather be encouraged and led by the Holy Spirit to know that one day you will have the strength and wisdom to say ‘No’, in order for them to benefit from the crucial lesson that awaits them in the midst of that circumstance.
Yes it will hurt.
In fact the bible already says it will be painful, and this can be true for both us and them – we may feel like we’re letting them down, whilst they may feel unloved/rejected.
But let us not lose focus on what really matters…
You see, though our intentions our good, we fail to realise that sometimes we may end up depriving people of the growth and development that God has purposed a situation for in their lives. And this isn’t at all a post to blame us, but it’s just to make us mindful of the fact that in some cases, we ought to take a step back, and let God be God in their lives.
Let them remember that they ought to always depend on God.
And rather than us trying to take over His role, let us ask Him for the wisdom for us to know when not to intervene, so that He can take control and His perfect will be done.
Looking at the verse again, it says discipline produces a
H A R V E S T of R I G H T E O U S N E S S, which means that our timely ‘No’ can positively contribute to the building of good and proper character – a man or woman that seeks God’s heart, and whose ways are pleasing in God’s sight.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, some of us have fed our friend’s bad habits for so long, simply because we haven’t said ‘No’.
With this verse in mind, we ought to make the conscious decision to refuse to encourage any detrimental behaviour, and instead be a light in their lives by saying ‘No’, in order to push them to break away from every practice that doesn’t glorify God.
Now I know some of you will be thinking, ‘But a ‘No’ from me doesn’t necessarily stop them from seeking help somewhere else, which could be even worse’.
This is where we remember the importance of prayer and taking everything to the throne.
After seeking wisdom of when to say ‘No’, we must remember to pray that they will receive the ‘No’ with love and will appreciate the training it eventually provides.
Most importantly, our prayer should be that they shift their focus away from man and unto God, and that they seek guidance from Him alone.
Before we go, let us take note of this for ourselves too…
We also must learn to be open to receive a ‘No’.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.“
In loving discipline and knowledge, and taking into consideration what we’ve discussed above, when we find ourselves on the receiving end of a ‘No’, let’s first remember that this isn’t because the person doesn’t love us.
Let us be reminded that we should depend on God, seek His hand in every situation, and pray not to miss the lesson.
With the promise of God in Romans 8:28, we can be confident that whether we’re saying it, or it’s being said to us – the right ‘No’, will surely produce good fruits in our lives.
Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.