Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Say "No"

When I was sexually abused as a small child, I lost my ability to say "no". I was already damaged goods so what difference did it make? I went through a lot of years doing things I wish I hadn't because I didn't know how to say "no". I didn't value myself enough to say "no" to things that were harmful for me.

As God is healing me, He is teaching me to say "no". "No, that's not true" when Satan whispers his lies in my ear. "No, that's not good for my body" when I'm tempted to indulge in things that make me sick. "No, I've got too much going on right now" when asked to do something-even good things-that would overextend me (which makes me crazy).

I am learning to say "No, I am forgiven according to God's grace"; "No, I am declared innocent because of Jesus' shed blood on the cross"; "No, my sins past, present and future are wiped clean"; "No, I am a beloved child of God because of my faith in Jesus", when I start to listen to those old voices that tell me that I'm not good enough to be loved by God, and that I have to do more.

Eugene Peterson, in his devotional book, "God's Message for Each Day", says "Our capacity to say "no" is one of the most impressive features of our language. Only humans can say "no", animals can't. The judicious, well-placed "no" frees us from many a blind alley, many a rough detour, frees us from debilitating distractions and seductive sacrilege. The art of saying "no" sets us free to follow Jesus."

Just say "No". "Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good", Romans 12:9, The Message  


  1. Peggy, this post and the devotional you share are so important. I struggle so much with having the courage/ strength to say no and am trying these days to really let that go because if we are truly relying on God, we shouldn't fear the reactions of other people to our "no". (This is referring to me not you.:) This has been so heavy on my heart lately. We need to learn to say no, it is a gift and freedom. Praying for you today and very thankful for your words.:)

  2. What a powerful privilege is the right to say "no". Your having been robbed of it while just a wee lass hurts my mother's heart. I'm so, so glad you're exercising your "no" rights with such flourish today!

    You go girl!

  3. This is a great message for all of us. Thanks, Peggy.