barrierExpression of refusal, denial, or disagreement; being turned down, disapproval, rejection

It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask permission.  Grace Murray Hopper

It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.W. Somerset Maugham

Don’t accept “No!”, if the consequences of failure are worth taking the risk against the possibilities of success. Randall Burkhalter

   The word “No” is very powerful. It has tremendous influence. It has psychological power. It often stops us cold in our tracks. It takes away our dreams, inspiration and motivation. It imprisons us in our comfort zone.

   Very often we accept “No” as absolute. Sometimes we accept it without any question or hesitation. When we make a request or seek permission, we too often get the response of, “No!” Many of life’s experiences are directly affected by the word “No”. We actually tend to expect the response of “No!” to be more likely than “Yes!” Many times we do not even bother to ask. Why bother?  We expect “No”. There is no need to ask? 

   In our litigious, “take the easiest and safest way” it is so much easier to say “No!” There is less risk and fewer headaches by denying and refusing all requests. No is synonymous to “status quo”, “don’t rock the boat”, “we’ve always done it this way”, and many other sayings. It is just easier and more convenient to say “No!”  Most of us were raised hearing “No!” much more often than “Yes!” It makes life that much easier saying “No”, not “Yes”.

   We tend to accept “No!” too easily and too absolutely. Throughout history, many people who were told “No!” ignored it and went on. They defied “No”, went on to change and innovation. They overcame opbstacles, prejudices, injustices, and an endless list of wrongs and evils to make the world a better place. The civil rights movement is a wonderful example of people choosing to ignore the word “No!”

    If we always accepted “No!’ as absolute, we would still be cave dwellers.  There are times when we should refuse to accept “No!” We must listen to our heart and soul, and stand up and do what needs doing. It may be worth the risk. Davy Crockett is credited with saying, “Be sure you are right then go ahead”. A good adage for justifying the taking of action is: “It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to seek permission.” Sometimes this works very well. In order to avoid getting “No” and being turned down; we do not even ask, going forward; doing what we think needs doing. We can ask forgiveness later (if necessary). Sometimes it is a matter of just having to do what we believe in and feel compelled to do.    

Challenge:  How easily do you accept “No!” as absolute and give in or give up? Can you identify missed opportunities and mistakes you have made, because you let “No!” stop you? Do not let “No!” have absolute power and influence over you. Sometimes, you have to reject the “No” and do what you believe in. Sometimes, there will be consequences to pay. You have to weigh the alternatives, the costs, and do what is best.

Wisdom:  Before success comes in any man’s life, he’s sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit. That’s exactly what the majority of men do. Napoleon Hill

Spiritual: (NIV)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

God did not make us to be lifeless and to live “vegetatively”. He made us to live victoriously and to be agents of change; to be witnesses and examples of righteous living. We should have faith in his unconditional love. As we increasingly understand his love and experience it, we will have faith and confidence to live more joyfully, faithfully, and successfully. We must have the faith and courage to say “Yes” to him and “No” to the world.  

Prayer:  Help me to say to “No!” to temptations and “Yes” to letting go and letting you.


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