Tuesday, November 15, 2016

3 Reasons We Say "Yes" When We Need to Say "NO"

In the ladies Sunday school class I teach, one beautiful, gracious sister mentioned her habit of often saying "yes" when she really needed to say "no." ALL of us related. It got me to thinking: WHY do we--especially women, but sometimes men--say 'yes' when we know we need to say 'no,' even when 'no' is healthier for us in the long run? Here are three possible reasons:

We're afraid of hurting someone's feelings.  A lot of us grew up with "we can't hurt their feelings" quoted to us with the same importance as Scripture. We learned that keeping the peace was more important than doing the right thing, or the wise thing. So we say "yes" when we should say "no," and WE end up getting hurt.

Yes is easier than no. Very often, it's easier to say "yes," than to explain why we're saying "no." But if we are secure and confident, we can get to the place where we don't feel the need to explain or justify our every decision. If the person we're saying "no" to cannot accept it, that's not our fault. 

We like to please others. We want everyone to like us. We mistakenly think if we say "no" to people's requests, they will not be happy with us. But if they need us to agree with them all the time in order to be happy, they are not healthy. If they truly love us, they'll be okay with hearing "no" once in awhile. If we love ourselves, we'll be okay with saying "no."

NO is not a four-letter word. We don't have to be angry to say it. 
In fact, it sets us free to say "YES" when we really mean it. Try it on for size. Look in the mirror and say "NO" five times with feeling. I guarantee it will feel more comfortable with each time.

Is it hard for you to say "no"? 
Why do you suppose Jesus never had difficulty with saying "no"? 
Can you start right now to see "no" as a freeing word? 


  1. I often feel badly when saying "no", but am almost always glad I did after the fact. Thanks for this wonderful and encouraging word, Jen! :)

  2. No is a good word to keep my life from being crazy busy and keeps life balanced, if that's possible.

  3. Hi Jeanette! I am doing a talk in the spring, and I'm including the topic of a 'balanced life'. That means saying no sometimes! One thing I read was that saying 'no' sounds just so...negative. I had to laugh at that one! But it's true. We never want to be unhelpful, so we get into trouble.
    Love the wisdom you are getting from your class!


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