The power of “No”

I have a confession to make to you.  I take at least one of my boys (often two of them) with me weekly to the grocery store.  As we go about our shopping, they notice items they would like me to buy.  This week they wanted me to buy some sugar cereal and then some candy bars.  I used a weapon that more people need to use.- The word “No”

No soda for snack, just juice and popcorn.

“No” is not a difficult word to say, at least it comes out of the mouth easily.  It can be a difficult word to decide to say.  For whatever reason people are having a harder time saying no to their children.

I read an article about how Disney is going to stop showing ads for certain food products that don’t meet their standards.  The claim is that if kids are not being influenced by these commercials that they will eat better and be less obese.  While I understand what they are doing, I am confused.  Isn’t it the parents who are buying the food?  Isn’t it the parent who decide whether or not their child gets to have ice cream or not? The article cites one woman who claims that these ads are making it difficult for her to shop with her kids. She says,  “If they see a commercial on TV, then the next time we go to the grocery store they’ll see it and say they want to try it.”  Of course they do!  I want to eat candy all day also, but I don’t because I know it is not a wise thing to do. I am not convinced that not playing ads is going to affect anything.  The only way this will ever change is if people start to use the word “No” and mean it.

The power of “No” needs to be exercised in far more places than that. Self-control is a challenge for humanity.  The appeal of material or another handful of jelly beans is often too much.  When it comes to sin, the pull of the world can be so powerful that without the help of another person, it might be near impossible to resist.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, – Titus 2:11-12

Say “no” to dumping your brother out of the wagon

Yet, even with all the odds against  us, it is possible to do the right thing.  It is possible to say no to ungodliness and yes to the things that God wants.  It is possible to say no to the desires of the flesh and yes to what God would have.  Why is it possible?  It is not because there are no temptations around us.  It is because God has made it possible through His Son Jesus Christ.  We were powerless before, but now we have His strength in us.  It is still not easy, but made possible by Jesus Christ and the power of “No.”

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8 comments

      1. 🙂 Derek

        Planting Potatoes: You are so right. I have asked repeatedly to quit teaching night adult classes and God has said, “No.” I am in a fight with my flesh.

  1. Amen!!!! I think all of us struggle with self discipline. Maybe part of the problem is parents (and grandparents, and….) who struggled and so didn’t teach for many of this generation. You should see what my 2 yo granddaughter does when I tell her no. I tell her no anyway, and she’s better off for it in the long run. We are a spoiled society that needs to be told NO!

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