It’s got to the point that I’m responding “No” to most questions. The times seem to demand it. It’s a word that has fallen into disfavor these days, but interestingly enough, it’s a very common human response. It’s the same word in romantic languages, and pretty much sounds the same in many other languages, like German “nien,” and Russian “nyet.”
“No,” means just that: “I’m not interested. Don’t bother me.” Yet, all around us voices are calling on us to say, “Yes.” Particular annoying are the telemarketers and the political fund raisers. They’ve made a science out of getting people to say, “Yes.”
Our kids want us to say, “Yes,” all the time, and they make us feel guilty if we say, “No.” With a “No” answer, you’ll need to tell them “Why,” but they don’t want to know why, they just want to put you on the spot. It’s the same with the other pundiffs of the “Yes” crowd.
Well, Jesus said, “Let your statement be ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no; and anything beyond these is of evil” (Matt.5.37). Hmmmm? That gives one pause to reflect.
Jesus was talking about vows; to strengthen one’s answer with a vow is evil, but in this same context, your word is enough, or it should be.
Unfortunately, “No” is not good enough for most people. In our laissez faire culture, if you say “No” you’re considered to be intolerant, a fuddy-duddy or even deplorable.
But God said “No” to His people many times. He said “No” to murder, and to adultery, and to stealing, and to lying (Ex.20.13-16). God said “No” to Saul being king after he continued to disobey (1 Sam.13.13-14; 15.11-23). God said “No” to David, who wanted to build the temple (1 Chron.22.6-10). God said no to Jeremiah, who wanted out of being a prophet, and God said “No” to the Apostle Paul when he prayed three times for deliverance from his “thorn in the flesh” (Jer. 19.7-18; 2 Cor.7-10).
What we need to remember is that often saying “No” is really saying “Yes,” when it means a good outcome in the future. However, this does not mean that “the end justifies the means.” Far from it.
To say “No” requires knowledge, experience and, for the believer in Jesus Christ, faith. For contained in our “No” is a moral factor that depends on the wisdom and truth of God. To say “Yes” has become the woke response to a culture falling into ruin.