Learning to say “No”
February sees the start of Lent, which is traditionally seen as a time of saying “no” and giving up things. But really it is a time in which we renew our commitment to God and life, life in all its fullness. And that is a very positive step, but does also include the ability to say “no”.
When Jesus started his journey to the Cross and spent time in the wilderness being tempted, trying to work out what he should do and become, he may not have said the word ‘no’ but did have to turn away from what would prevent him from becoming who he was: God’s Son and our Saviour.
And for us to follow Jesus and become who we truly are, Children of God, then we too need to be able to say “no” in life affirming ways.
Not necessarily ‘no’ to chocolate during Lent but…
- ‘No’ to the injustice that means we eat plenty whilst others live in poverty.
‘Yes’ to fair-trade!
- ‘No’ to government policies that cause more homelessness and dependence on Food Banks.
‘Yes’ to protesting for justice!
- ‘No’ to western values that give super status to footballers and pop stars and belittles true greatness.
‘Yes’ to equality!
- ‘No’ to our 24/7 society that values being too busy to have time for ourselves and others.
‘Yes’ to a better body/mind/soul balance!
- ‘No’ to noise pollution.
‘Yes’ to being still and knowing God!
So, if you have to say “no” to anything you are asked to do, including roles within the Church, may it be a positive ‘no’, because you are concentrating on saying “yes” to other ways of serving God and loving others.
Jesus came that we might have life in all its fullness,
So, let’s say “no” to doubting and “yes” to belief!
May God bless us all with renewed love and life this Lent as we follow our saviour and our friend to the cross, which leads to resurrection and new life – Yes!