Everyone likes to say “yes.”
Especially if you want people to like you.
Especially if you lack self-esteem.
You want to be able to help others. You like recognition from doing tasks, from accomplishing things. You like the rewards that come from finishing.
“Yes” can lead to good things. Financial reward. New experiences.
But, sometimes, saying “yes” leads down the wrong path, or missed opportunities because you chose good instead of best. Sometimes you did not actually say “yes.” You just did not say “no.”
Not saying “no” can be the beginning of trouble.
Just ask Jeremiah Johnson (actor portrayed by Robert Redford) in the movie of the same name when he did not say “no” to the US soldiers’ request to guide them through sacred Indian burial grounds to help “save” settlers stranded in snow in the high country of Montana. He lost his wife and adopted son while he was away helping them – in spite of what he knew to be the wrong thing to do. He should have said “no.”
What about the guy who married the girl just because so many in his social circle said to do it, in spite of his heart telling him this was not the right person for him? It led to lots of problems down the road. Matched with an inactive person, he spent decades of inactivity, which led to poor physical fitness. He heard lots of reasons why he should not reach for his dreams. That woman would eventually squander his hard earned finances, leaving him to have to start over later in life. Looking back, he sure wished he said “no.”
What about the high school kid who went joy riding with a group of guys, only to have one smash a rural mail box – a federal offense. That led to a visit to his home by the county Sheriff. He wished he had said “no.”
What about the guy who took a job in a prestigious medical practice just because his ego thought it would bring him prestige and financial reward. Years later, burned out and cynical, he wished he had said “no.” Now, he has to find himself again, and go looking for the passion he felt he had lost.
What about the guy tempted to look at pornography on his computer? Little did he know that would lead to an addiction that progressed to child pornography, and eventually to being found out while at his workplace. Arrested, tried, and convicted on federal charges, he found himself in prison for several years. He wished he had said “no.”
You have all seen that scene in the movies. Inwardly, you are screaming “Don’t do it!” They do it anyway, and you know the result… badness happens.
Sometimes you see that unfold in someone’s life. Sometimes, it is your life, and maybe those around you – those observing – are the ones screaming that line.
What about that something less drastic, but much more sinister? You said “yes” to something that sounded like, and maybe was, a good idea. Yet it was not really the “best.” It took you down a certain road, occupied precious time in your life, only to lead you in a direction where you did not have the available time or finances to grab the “best” when the opportunity arose. You are left with regret. I “”should have” done this or that instead.
What should you have said “no” to?
Think about it.
And here is one more thing. Do you think I am talking just about what you say to others – out loud? Or, about what you say to yourself?
Maybe there is something that will come up this week that you should say “no” to.
Wait for the best. God promises it. Sometimes, we need to be quiet and really listen to what He is saying to us.
Written by Fairfield Bain
Until Next Time,