There are many reasons that we hesitate to say no, some cultural, some psychological, some emotional. After all, saying yes makes us appear to be agreeable, nice, and can make us popular. In some situations, saying yes requires courage and faith. Saying no, on the other hand, seems to work against the flow of community or relationships. It can make us appear contrary, cranky, or even stubborn. To say no can seem downright un-Christian.
As Christians, we are free to say yes or no, as long as we are being genuine in what we say. Just saying yes to be agreeable—but with no intention of following through—can be dishonest and deceptive. Christians are to express themselves with honesty and integrity. Only a genuine yes or no can contribute to the building of the reign of God. And, at times, saying no reveals the yes of a faithful heart.
This message is adapted from “Boldly Saying No” written by Donna Hacker-Smith in the September 2005 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather magazine).