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Stepping Stones: Just Say No! – But Why?

Stepping Stones: Just Say No! – But Why?
January 18, 2010 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Tip

Yesterday’s devotional, we discussed what happens when someone approaches us with a request…even a reasonable opportunity for us to be helpful to them. Instead of saying “yes” just to avoid conflict, we need to be able to, at times, say “no”.

The problem: we associate saying yes = being loving, saying no = being mean.

Someone asks for something, humbles them self to admit they need our help. Agreeing with them…being like-minded…avoiding conflict are all considered to be the nice response. Answering in a way that allows the requester to leave feeling “good” is what most would stamp as loving.

News Flash: saying ‘Yes’ is not always the loving response. Example: If your 12 yo convinces you he has great driving skills, is awesome on bumper cars and go-carts, and now wants the keys to the car. Your loving response, regardless of how hurt, angry, sad, or belittled your response influences him to feel, is ‘NO’. Same if my 9 yo wants to stay up till midnight on a school night. Loving response is ‘NO’.

We know kids make dysfunctional, shortsighted, and potentially harmful requests for immediate gratification, so saying no is easy and we know is loving(even when they cry). The problem comes when adults make requests. We assume an adult knows what is good for them and only makes healthy responsible requests. So we think saying no to a healthy, functional request is unloving, or withholding love.

BIGGER NEWS FLASH: Adults don’t always make functional requests. You have to have awareness, discernment, and bigger picture view to know if it is a healthy or dysfunctional request. The cool part…when you put some thought into deciding whether it is a healthy request or not, saying ‘no’ becomes as easy as saying no to the 12 yo request for the car keys.

So today, start developing the discipline of discerning what is a healthy request from others. Also, practice saying ‘No’ to requests. When someone says ‘no’ to you, stop and think whether your request was healthy, don’t just assume you are the perfect one who only makes healthy requests all the time.

Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your thoughts on saying ‘No’ and still being loving at the same time.

Dear Father God, thank You for being an example to me of answering my requests ‘yes’ at the right time and answering my other requests ‘no’ at the right time. I ask You to continue the work You started in me…to grow the mind of Christ in me, so I can see other’s requests through Your lenses. Give me the courage to say ‘No’ when that is the most loving thing and to not be afraid of their sad, angry, or hurt feelings or opinions. I pray in the name of the one You sent to teach me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!

The Truth
And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
Colossians 18:18,22,23
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”
Luke 4:3,4

Comment (1)

  1. Anonymous 12 years ago

    This is such an important message and often one we only learn by over committing ourselves which can lead to either burn out or letting someone down. I have been on both sides of this and I know the disappointment felt (on both sides) when we struggle to "help" someone out and simple cant live up to the commitment we have made. Thank you.

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