When we say yes but wanted to say no, we relate to others in dysfunctional ways.

The Dark Side of Relating
Saying No – Part 2

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 18:15-17

Key Verse: Matthew 5:37

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

No is not an easy word for God’s people to say.  We feel we should say yes to everyone because we feel it’s more loving.  Unfortunately, when we say yes, but want to say no, we don’t like ourselves as we should.  Jesus told us to love others as we love ourselves, thus we need to love ourselves!  The Apostle Paul warns us not to “give reluctantly or under compulsion” (1 Corinthians 9:7).  When we say yes, but really wanted to say no, we are not giving with a cheerful heart.  We don’t make God smile by continually saying yes, but wishing we could say no.

            I do want to address that “self focus” factor.  Obviously, there is a need for a servant’s heart, saying yes in spite of the craving of the flesh.  When we say yes with the attitude that we want to serve in Jesus’ name, that is a good thing, but most situations that cause us inner strife don’t fit this category!

            We say yes because we fear that saying no will affect the relationship.  So, with our relatives we struggle to say no to their control, demands, and sometimes real needs. So we outwardly agree but inwardly resent the whole situation.  God sees the resentment as clearly as we see the outward compliance.  Resentment is not one of the components of the abundant life Jesus came to give us.  (Continued)

Father, help me to live the life Jesus died to provide for me.  Grant me courage to let my yes be yes and my no be no.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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