Your No Is As Important as Your Yes

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”  Matthew 5:37

Are you afraid of saying no?

Scripture doesn’t condemn the word no. Rather, the Bible highlights the importance of keeping your word, whether it’s a yes or a no.

Imagine if Jesus was as uncomfortable with saying no as so many of us are.

What if, instead of saying “get behind me, Satan!” to Peter, He said “you’re right, Peter. I’ll stop all this talk of being killed because it’s too dark and too uncomfortable.” What if instead of taking a rest from time to time Jesus burned his human body out with non-stop healings, miracles, and other ministries?

It wasn’t by saying yes to every opportunity, to every person in power, or to spare other’s feelings that Christ saved the world.

In order for Jesus to do much of what He came to do, He had to say no. He had to say it firmly, assuredly, and without going back on His word. When Pharisees and others told Him what not to do, Jesus said no. When His own brothers urged Him to attend a festival and reveal Himself, He said “no,” citing God’s timing.

Perhaps most important about Jesus’ yes was that His response was to God first.

all-you-need-to-say-is-simply-yes-or-no-anything-beyond-this-comes-from-the-evil-one

Every no Jesus spoke was to preserve the yes He gave to the Lord.

I suspect many of us say yes before we ask the Lord or consider what He has asked of us. We justify it, trying to explain away our yes  as selflessness, responsibility, or making the most out of every opportunity. Maybe we even justify our yes  in the name of the Lord, and fear saying no to others as if every no is a selfish offense to God.

But His Word challenges the notion:

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10

As you go through your day feeling like yes is always the best answer, think about who you are saying yes to. Is it the Lord?

Does your “no” protect your “yes, Lord?”

{Originally posted on My Faith Radio}


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16 thoughts on “Your No Is As Important as Your Yes

  1. I am in a situation where “No!” is the answer I need but I am nervous about saying it. I don’t want to hurt feelings, to be the bad guy, etc. BUT…that is the answer I need. Thank you and so grateful you are my neighbor at Soul Survival this morning.
    Praising the Lord.

    1. Oh Linda, I have been there and it’s so hard. But it’s also really freeing when you give the “no” so you can “yes” to what you need, what the Lord is asking! Grateful for you and praising Him with you!

  2. As someone who has always had trouble saying “no,” I really appreciated your thoughts and the Bible verse. Thank you for reminding us to think about who we are actually saying “yes” to!

    1. Thanks Leslie. This post was originally up years ago, and ironically I just now got around to reading a book on the topic: Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson. If this is something you also have trouble with, you might really appreciate her book!!

  3. I’ve heard a lot about Mary’s yes, when she fearlessly agreed to participate in God’s plan for salvation, but I haven’t thought much about Jesus’ yes. This insight seems particularly important with Good Friday and Easter Sunday fast-approaching. Thank you for this reflection, Bethany! #raralinkup

  4. I like that thought that Jesus protected His “yes’s” to the Father by saying “no” to someone else.

    Galatians 1:10 sure hit home! I can’t truly be a servant of Christ if I am trying to please people instead of God. Ouch. How many times have I fooled myself into thinking I was serving Christ when I was really seeking to please man? “Lord, please forgive us and help us to see things from Your point of view and to serve You alone.”

    Thanks for sharing this, Bethany. 🙂
    Have a great rest of the week!

    1. It helps me say no (I’m a people pleaser) to remember I also get to say yes to Him in the process, too. I fool myself the same way. Such a powerful verse for reorienting and correcting us. Thanks for coming by, enjoy your Easter!

  5. “I suspect many of us say yes before we ask the Lord or consider what He has asked of us.” – YES I do this at times. Thank you for the reminder to pause.

    1. I do too. For a while I tried to never give any answer except “I’ll pray and get back to you,” until that became my hahbit anyway. But when God first got my attention on this, I needed a really intentional pause button.

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