Your yes should be a plain yes, and your no a plain no, and then you cannot go wrong in the matter.
James 5:12b PHILLIPS
I’m not sure that I’ve ever allowed myself to have a simple, unadulterated no. Or a plain, unvarnished yes either! That’s beginning to change now, and I am surprised by the ferocity I feel against that inner “pull” that says, “Now Jennifer, don’t just say ‘no’ – that’s rude! Offer a full explanation with plenty of apologies, whether such a thing is called for or not.” Wretched evil that calls itself good, I am done with you.
Indiscretion has been my middle name for far too long, thanks in no small part to an insidious drive to please people, even at the expense of my dignity or integrity. Any “no” of mine was usually accompanied by an explanation-apology combo. If there was no explanation, then I lied. And each lie felt worse than the one before it, because it blackened my soul. Each no seemed to involve a sin against God AND myself. But in some ways, the “no” was still better than the “yes.”
A simple yes was just insufficient somehow. There had to be a build-up around it to show that I was truly excited and grateful. A plain yes without an accompanying adoration seemed miserly and ungrateful. A so-called “good” yes was basically worship. Worship on demand. Such a thing blackens the soul as well, but it’s also slimy and filthy. You get so coated by it that you wonder if you’ll ever be clean.
I’m a little wild right now over all of this. My “no” feels like a sword, an offensive weapon waiting to strike. May God have mercy on the next vessel who approaches me with a demand. I find myself yelling, “I owe you NOTHING!” at every memory that surfaces as it is.
Oddly enough, the more I scream my no at every living creature in existence, the more clearly I see the complete love and respect that God has always shown me. Of all the nooses I’ve discovered wrapped around my neck, none originated with Him. My “no” has always been honored by the Lord; He’s NEVER violated it. He didn’t make me justify that “no” or explain it to His satisfaction. My “no” has always been respected, and if I can trust Him with my “no,” then how much more does my “yes” belong to Him?
God is the only safe harbor for my “yes,” the only sanctuary for my heart. In wresting back my “no” from every place I put it and taking responsibility for it ALL, I inadvertently found a truly booming YES to the only Love of my life.