A Simple Yes

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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.

Comments:

Posted by Mac Dumcum
July 2, 2014 at 11:05 am

I guess I won’t be calling and asking you anything for a looong time. 😉

Oh, Jennifer, you hit a sore spot in so many of our lives. We live for the praises of others and desperately avoid anything that would hinder us from receiving it. How many times has it made us liars? How few times have we ever thought we were doing anything wrong? Thank you for speaking a word that speaks to the heart. YOU are a GEM!

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Posted by Cindy Pollard
July 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Yes. God is safe. To the person who takes refuge in Him.

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Posted by Majaunta
July 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Thank you Jennifer

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Posted by virginia
July 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

FREE IN CHRIST. HIS LOVE IS SUFFICENT. YES IS NOW A SIMPLE YES,IF IT IS CALLED FOR, HE ALSO GAVE ME THE FREEDOM TO BE ABLE TO SAY NO, WITH MUCH PEACE. FREE IN CHRIST BEYOND BLESSED. LOVE YOU DEAR JENNIFER. LOVE TO READ YOUR POST, YOU MINISTER TO ME. YOUR WRITTINGS COULD COMPOSE A GREAT BOOK. GOD HAS GVIEN YOU A LOVELY GIFT. BEING ABLE EXPRESS YOUR SELF. THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE HEART THAT YOU RECREATED IN HER. FULL OF JESUS.

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Posted by Wanda
July 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Oh, Jen, I can so relate to this. Thank you for sharing

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Posted by Jennifer
July 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

Oops! I originally gave the Scripture reference as James 4:12, but it’s actually James 5:12. Sorry about that! I’ve updated the post with the correct reference now.

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Posted by Joanna
July 1, 2014 at 8:47 am

This is soooo true of me! The Lord has been trying to show me the Truth of a simple YES or NO for the past year. Exposing my heart to pleasing men. It is exhausting and my uncle told me that if I don’t learn to say NO I will go insane.

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Posted by Irene
July 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

When I studied Matthew 5:37, I thought it was quite interesting that Jesus said anything more than a “yes” or “no” answer came from evil. Your post today exemplifies why His statement is true and I found myself recalling my own actions similar to yours. If I am walking in The Spirit there is no need to “defend” my yes or no. I don’t think the paraphrase by J. B. Phillips of James 4:12 is very accurate.

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Posted by Tammy
July 1, 2014 at 6:39 am

“God is the only safe harbor for my “yes” the only sanctuary for my heart.”

Yes!

Love

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Posted by Sam
July 1, 2014 at 6:01 am

“I find myself yelling, “I owe you NOTHING!” at every memory that surfaces as it is.”

I saw myself so much reflected in you. Thank you Jen. That’s the Lord inside telling to our old man… “I owe you nothing.”

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