We don’t have many role models for just saying no, especially from the Bible. We tend to think of our Christian faith in terms of saying YES – yes to God, to Christ, to love, to the law. Maybe what we need to hear is that an equally important part of our life as Christians is finding the courage and the encouragement to say NO when we need to, not because it’s easy, but because it’s right.
Vashti, in the book of Esther, does not save the day with her great NO to the king. (No, I will not come out and make a display of myself for your benefit.) In the eyes of the world, she loses: They take away her crown, her position, her prestige, her good name. But in the eyes of God, it is something different. Vashti’s great NO becomes Esther’s great NO, so that the Jews in the empire are not systematically murdered. Vashti’s example encourages women and men to speak up for themselves.
This message is excerpted from “The woman who just said no” by Anna Carter Florence in the June 2019 Gather magazine.
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