Last month, I attended an online writing/speaking conference. After listening to hours worth of tips on how to share God's word with excellence and passion, I couldn't forget a phrase I heard amid all the conversations. The speaker reminded us to "Own our NO." This is essential for our mental health and to progress in the writing industry. In other words, not every opportunity will be for us to take hold of. Not only did she implore us to say "no," she told us to own it. We have to take full responsibility for our choices and not waver in thought. No matter how big the opportunity presented or who thinks we should just say yes, we must be keenly aware that..
There are some things you can no longer be a part of.
There are some opportunities you must decline.
There are some friendships that need to shift.
There are some kind, amazing,and helpful moments that you are not supposed to participate in. (Look up Holy Distractions)
There are some decisions that require a different response than normal.
Turning down opportunities to be promoted, to be on a stage, to help a friend in need, purchase a new home or move forward from a business, can be extraordinarily tough. It would seem that, without a life of consistent prayer, it would be impossible to know how to navigate these moments. Yet, truthfully, there are some choices that can only be made with Godly wisdom. For every big decision, we must run to the Lord for the answer.
When God is telling us to say "no" it will always be the best choice!
I can't help but wonder how the Bible would have looked if some of our favorite characters would have simply said "no." Adam and Eve wouldn't have taken the fatal bite. Saul wouldn't have done the sacrifice before God's instructed time. Judas wouldn't have betrayed Jesus. David wouldn't have stolen Uriah's wife. Joseph wouldn't have shared his dream at the wrong time. Yet, each of these individuals chose to not follow God's leading and suffered the consequences.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight- Proverbs 3:5-6
Although its not easy, there will be times throughout our Christian journey that a "no" will be necessary. It could be that God wants us to focus our attention elsewhere or that our "no" will give someone else an opportunity. We may never know why we feel compelled to say no, but this is why we must trust the Lord. We would rather say "no" to what seems like a great opportunity than to say "yes" and suffer the consequences.
It's not enough to say no, we have to own it.
We can no longer allow the pressure from the enemy, our flesh, or others to put us in compromising situations. As stated in Matthew 5:37, "All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." As a dear friend once told me, "No, is a complete sentence." This week, I challenge you to say what you mean and mean what you say! Let us remember that tomorrow is not promised and we must act in wisdom as we make our choices. With prayer, we can know exactly which opportunities come from the Lord and decline those that do not! There is victory in your graceful NO!
I challenge you to watch my latest live feed on "Making Time Count" where explore the importance of saying "NO". Click here to check it out!
For more on living a life of everyday victory, I invite you to purchase the Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Amazon today by clicking here.