My Heart's Home

April 8, 2011

Just Say No

Filed under: Prayer — My Heart's Home @ 7:01 pm

Just Say No DecalEver received a chain letter? I have, several times. I’ve copied them, transferred names, mailed the dishcloth, recipe and whatnot on numerous occasions. Once, something actually came out of all my work. I received a cute dishcloth back. Just one. Not several, which was the whole idea initially. So now I don’t do chain letters anymore. Too much effort for far too little results. I choose to use my time more effectively these days.

But I always let the person who sent me the chain letter know I was opting out.

Usually at the bottom of such letters is a statement like: “if you are unable, unwilling or uninterested in participating in this please let me know, so we can remove your name from the list and the process will not be interrupted. Trust me, my feelings will not be hurt.” I recall including this statement in a chain letter I sent several years ago to at least six friends. Only one of them ended up participating and replying. It made me curious: why did the others not reply? Did they feel they’d hurt my feelings in the long run? I don’t understand sometimes why friends are hesitant to be open about their feelings with one another.

A chain letter may be a trivial thing, but it made me wonder if we are not comfortable in being forthright with one another in the little, seemingly insignificant things like a chain letter, what about the larger, more important issues in life? Will we be timid there also? Like speaking up against a brutalizing bully? Like sharing our view on celibacy amidst our non-Christian single peers? Like taking a firm stand against social issues that God in His Word clearly opposes?  JUST SAY NO!!!

We can’t sit silent, passive and afraid to offend if we want to be effective in God’s kingdom.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”  Psalm 56: 3-4

So many churches nowadays water down the gospel and avoid controversial subjects because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, possibly face empty pews or fewer checks in the offering plate. Hogwash! If that’s the case, that’s not the kind of church I would want to be a member of! Did Jesus avoid stirring waters? Did He not make people question things? Did He shy away from the Pharisees, kings, rulers of His day? No, Jesus was definitely not a passivist!

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

Too many times we don’t let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ or our ‘no’ be ‘no’ and we end up in avoidance traps by our tip toeing, tap dancing and hemming and hawing our way around things. That’s how Christians become wishy-washy compromisers and nobody has a clue where we stand, including ourselves.

Ever heard the saying: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” I believe it.

We need to know what we believe and have the courage and confidence to live it out. Maybe women are fearful of being bold because they confuse it with being aggressive. I grew up being very passive, so I know how hard it can be to speak up and voice an opinion, but I was a child then. Now I am an adult woman who belongs to Christ, so it’s time to be bold and courageous about my faith and convictions.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” 1 Cor. 13:11

Let us boldly speak truth in love, just as we want truth spoken to us.

“Devote yourselves to prayer…praying…that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of  Christ…making the most of the opportunity.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned , as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:2-6

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14

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