Some of us have a difficult time saying, “No.” It may be that we are fearful of rejection and co-dependent on the approval of others to feel good about ourselves. Co-dependency on others can lead to harsh realities. For example:
- You may end up in a difficult marriage because you were afraid to break the relationship off even before marriage when you saw warning signs yet feeling manipulated by another or others. Some of these misguided advisers may have been relatives or “friends.”
- You may find yourself in a compromising situation yet do not want to experience the wrath of another or others because you are unwilling to follow along.
- You may discover that you are working for a boss who is expecting results even if it means you do something unethical or hurtful to others to be successful. You may be hearing, “Dude, you gotta do what you gotta do to get the job done.”
There are a myriad of hurtful, fearful relational environments that Jesus followers find themselves because they feel powerless to say “No.”
Never forget that God has called us to be “peacemakers” not “peacekeepers.” Peacekeepers “go along to get along.” These folks do not want to create adverse waves that lead to rejection. Once you closely observe the men and women in scripture, you discover that God does not want us to be peacekeepers.
However, being a peacemaker is a totally different thing. Peacemakers recognize that we as Christians are called to be straightforward, honest, loving people, “speaking the truth in love.” As a result of that “we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” Ephesians 4:15. Peacemakers may find themselves disapproved by others but recognize that we are called to honor Christ first. The two qualifiers of our speech are “truth” and “love.” You learn to speak truth and love in a humble, non-judgmental manner and trusts the results to God. God makes this promise to us in James 3:18, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Remember these two verses always as you live out life…Titus 2 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.