“Simply let your ‘yes’ be your yes; and your ‘no,’ no. Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37
There is no easier way for the evil one to attack than through the gate of integrity. We leave ourselves vulnerable by not doing what we say we will do or, even worse, saying we will not do something we shouldn’t do and doing it.
Always remember it has been the Beast’s job ever since the fall to separate human beings from their rightful place, a loving relationship with the Creator.
Additionally, simply doing what you say you will do and not doing what you say you will not do does not create integrity and character. Though it may be good to stand by one’s words, we know all too well it is easier said than done.
“Yes” just rolls off of some people’s lips like water.
The flow of the constant “yes” in their lives causes a river of discontent in their hearts.
They are no longer doing things out of love; their “yes” has now become an anchor formally holding them in the lake of despondency.
These people somehow got lost and now wander so far from who they are or from whom God wanted them to be because they could not set any boundaries.
In their pursuit of love and happiness, they traded their souls for the relentless need to be liked or to look good or, worst of all, to feel loved. In turn, what they got was unhappiness and a deep sense that nobody really loved them.
The path to build integrity
Did this happen overnight? Well, the answer of course is “no.” It can be a long gentle slope into hell. There are no stop signs or warnings, unless there is some intervention that comes with being introduced to the power of saying “no.” This point is rarely celebrated because it flies in the face of Christian beliefs. There is also the fear of being called a negative person; and who wants to be labeled that?
This way of thinking about “no” needs to be smashed, and new ways of thinking are to be employed. “No” says this is who I am, this is what I value, this is what I will and will not do, this is how I will choose to act. Take a good look at yourself. Have you sold yourself on the idea that you are important? What gifts or talents has God given you?
Maybe now is a good time to be empowered by the Spirit and step out in faith and say, “I will not sign up because this is not my truth. I will not join your committee, help with your kids, or even review your project.” When this is done in a godly manner, it will change your life for the better because instead of doing things that make you look good, you will do things that will give your life true meaning and purpose, the purpose for which you were ultimately created.
Your relationship with the Lover of your soul will be renewed, and you will soar on wings like eagles.
Self-Discipline to learn to say NO
The other side benefit of “no” is self-discipline. There is no easier way of looking like a hypocrite than swearing off something. “I swear to God I will never get that drunk again. I swear to God I will never hit you again.”
This dark side of the human condition is in all of us. Maybe you have never sworn off either one of those examples. I do know that everyone has sworn off of something to some extent or another.
How are all of your New Year’s resolutions working out for you? What needs to be done with our self-discipline is to walk through it, not sit there and try to fight it alone.
“Submit yourselves then to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”
First of all, come near to God, and He will come near to you.
Do not think you are alone in this pursuit. As the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13,
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
This battle will not be won overnight.
Many of us will have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death time and time again for a new pathway to be made, a clear escape route; but the pay-off of implementing the self-discipline of “no” will be peace of mind; and what price can one give to peace of mind?