There are so many moments in life when we are asked a question, offered something or asked to do something special where uttering the word yes brings us great joy. Will you marry me....yes, will you help me.......yes, will you accept this promotion.......yes, will you be my guest at the beach for a week.....oh yes, when are we leaving?
We so frequently say yes that it becomes a real grind to say no. We don't like to be negative or confrontational, but there is a place and time for that word to be appropriate. Like, do you want to get high.......NO, do you want to steal that truck.......NO, no one will know but us.......NO. Or when that difficult question is asked on the important application.......Yes or No?
Let's breakdown that word's use by itself and as a part of other words. I kNOw it's wrong, but it is NOt something anyone else can see, and it is certainly going NOwhere outside this room. Basically that means Nothing except to us. Or does it...
The basic flaw in many folks of an addictive lifestyle or those in denial of such, is that they lie, and they make decisions that are concerning only the immediate and not the long term. So the word yes is always in play. The only time NO is used is when they deny something that is true as in NO I didn't do that. But if we are ever to step forward in our growth after addiction, that word has to be embraced.
In Monday's meeting which I had the pleasure of doing after a few months away, I suggested that we think vertically as mentioned in last week's blog. In simple terms we say "that looks good" from viewing it horizontally, but then we look up and ask God "but, what do you think"? Sounds simple, but most of us are afraid to hear that word, NO. Biblical character after biblical character, most filled with Spirit of God had trouble with this, so it makes perfect sense that we struggle as well.
And it is doubly difficult when folks ask us for assistance, being loving and giving people, that we have to say NO when asked to help. Because we know that the assistance is not for real help it is instead to further a bad situation. And, it pulls us back into a place where we don't want to be.
But think of this, how great we would feel by standing up for what we believe in by saying NO? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago (sic) all said NO when their faith was challenged and they came out of a fire smelling like a rose. I would bet their feet were not even touching the ground when they came out of that furnace because their belief was confirmed.
NO is a growth word, it brings us closer to kNOwing God, it gives us confidence that we can reNOunce our old ways and live a life free of addiction and untruth. It sets us free to be the people God sees us to be.
NO, we can't do it alone, but we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
Just say NO when it ionvolves something He would not approve of!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.