“No”, I don’t want to-‘’No”, I don’t like-“No”, I won’t! How often have you reached out to a friend or family with an offer for a “gift”; doing something for them- a trip, dinner or even assisting them, but they returned your kindness with “no”?

While recently reading one of my devotions, the reflection of this was validated with Chuck Swindoll’s words, ‘’Are you striving to promote your perspective, demand that your way be accepted, or your voice be heard above others? Are you in the middle of a conflict with someone you love that, unless one of you stands down and defers to the other, is only going to intensify and cause lasting damage? Listen to Jesus. It’s time to turn from selfishness and strife as you embrace the way of the Cross. Lay down your rights…”

Have your ever chosen not to try new food, go on an adventure or perhaps take a trip because you were “afraid” to try? I’ve never forgotten the words of someone whom had chosen for years not to try pecan pie because he didn’t like “how it looked.” After much persuasion, he finally took a bite and realized he missed years of enjoyment due to “fear.”

We often withhold faith when we say, “no.” Max Lucado states, “I think this a time where we need to be feeding our faith,”… “If you feed your faith, your fears will starve. If you feed your fears, your faith will starve. Our tendency is to feed our fears. We have to do intentional things to feed our faith.”

I think of faith missionaries possess when they must partake of something which appears “fearful.”  Yet they realize they will diminish their ministry by not tasting a food or being involved in an activity which they deem undesirable.

I share in my upcoming book of countless times I did things I had no desire to do. Some were mandates when I could not say “no.” Other situations I chose to do because of my love for another.  I believe the positive may outweigh the negative when we release our fear and step out in faith.  For the duration of my marriage, I resided in homes I despised because I wanted to appease the husband I loved; homes he chose for us. Yet, if I had said “no” our son might never have had life-long friends which remain over four decades later. If I had said “no”, to the countless corporate moves my then husband mandated, yet I loathed, I might not have experienced some of the adventures in residing in other areas of the country.

“No”, even though a short and simple word, is powerful and controlling. It frequently tells the recipient they are of little or no value to the person offering the “gift.” Faith is a gift which God grants us when our fears overcome us. 2 Timothy 1:7, NIV, “for the spirit of God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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