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Nancy Reagan, the wife of our late President Ronald Reagan, is credited with the quote: “Just say no to drugs!” Address to the Nation. www.cnn.com. September 14, 1986. She was criticized by some who believed that her words were not strong enough and were, therefore, inconsequential and powerless. I agree with Nancy, however, and appreciate her for encouraging y
Saying “No!” empowers.
Her words were, in my opinion, empowering to many young people because it gave them something to say when offered drugs. I pray that parents continue to teach their children to say “no” to other vices such as sex, speeding, stealing, alcohol, and the like. I give accolades to Nancy for her quote when she stated: “Drugs take away the dream from every child’s heart and replace it with a nightmare. And it’s time we in America stand up and replace those dreams.” http://www.nytimes.com. September 15, 1986.
Going along versus standing firm.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were tempted to go along with or agree with others when you really just wanted to say “no”? Did you just go along to get along? Or did you have the strength of character to go against the flow and refuse to be involved when others were in error? I do wonder how many people might have avoided jail or prison had they simply spoken up and said “no” to what others in the group were doing. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, Be not deceived: evil communication corrupt good manners.
“No” would have worked for Adam.
The Bible relates two specific instances in which a simple, “No”! from a husband would have changed the course of the world. The first instance involves our original parents, Adam and Eve. In Gen. 3:6, Eve went against God’s instructions, ate of the fruit that God forbade them to eat, and gave it to Adam.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
If Adam had simply said, “no” to Eve, how different the world would be today.
And it would have worked for Abraham.
Another case in point is that of Abraham and Sarah. (Genesis 11:27-25:18). Abraham was given a specific promise by God that he would have an heir born of his own body. Although it took time for it to take place, Abraham had a conviction that what God promised would happen. The Bible only relates one instance in which Sarah heard God speak of their promise, but God spoke to Abraham on numerous occasions about His promises. When Sarah proposed a natural solution to their plan, Abraham should have told Sarah “no” concerning Hagar. (Genesis 16:2). What a difference we would have today in the world. The warring factions between Hagar’s child’s descendants and Sarah’s child’s descendants would not exist. Abraham’s “no” would have been a world changer.
Other Instances in the Bible when “no” would have been the better choice: Ahab and Jezebel.
The Bible gives several other instances in which a “no” from one individual would have made a tremendous difference. Had Ahab said “no” to Jezebel concerning Naboth’s field, (1 Kings 17:21), perhaps he and Jezebel would have avoided their horrific deaths and Naboth’s life would have been spared.
Balaam and Balak.
Balaam the Prophet could have said “no” to Balak and his representatives at Balak’s first request that he curse God’s chosen people (Numbers 22-24). Balaam might have died the kind of death that he desired, which was the death of the righteous (Numbers 23:10). But, instead, he died an enemy of Israel.
Eli the Prophet and his two bad boys, Hophni and Phineas.
The Prophet Eli (1Samuel 1:1,3) had evil sons, Hophni and Phineas, (1Samuel 1:12) that performed evil acts in the House of God (1Samuel 2:22). Eli could have said a forcible and re-enforced “no” to those bad boys, and all of them might have died a death of the righteous. (1Samuel 4:3, 10, 17-18).
These in the New Testament should have said “No”: Ananias and Sapphira.
In the New Testament, Sapphira could have said “no” to her husband, Ananias, when they conspired to lie to the Holy Ghost. (Acts 5:1-11). When she was asked by the Apostles how much they received for the sale of their property, she could have told the truth. Although her husband died, she could have lived. She agreed to Ananias’ lie and fell dead, too.
Peter and some of the other disciples.
There were other instances in the Bible when individuals were allowed to take a stand for right by saying “no” to wrong. The other disciples did not have to go along with Peter, for example, when he decided to go back to fishing in John 21:3.
Are you responsible enough to say “no” to the wrong?
There will be many times in our own lives when God will expect us to say “no” to the wrong which might even sway others to do right. It is our responsibility to stand up for God and openly declare that we refuse and reject the wrong. As Christians, we must stand for good and shun even the appearance of evil. We must have the strength of character to stand out, even when we stand alone. Besides, we are never alone. Jesus said in Matt. 28:20…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
We should not fear the consequences of losing man’s approval. Stand up and stand out against evil, and say “no” to all wrong. Besides, we have no idea how many others will follow us when we adhere to doing the right thing.
The Holy Ghost will give you the power that you need.
And if you really don’t have the power to say “no”, then get filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 1:8 says:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. According to Luke 11: 9-13 It’s just a matter of asking for it
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
May God bless you, strengthen you, and keep you is my prayer.