Is The Word “No” Defunct?

Some thoughts from Charles Hodge

One of the first words a baby hears, learns and hates is “no.” He must learn there are things he must never do. Tragically, some never learn. The jail houses people who refuse to say “no.” Eve never learned it; she could not say “no” to Satan or to herself. Adam never learned it; he could not say “no” to Eve. Both sinned and were cast out of Eden.

We need to childproof our own lives by learning to say “no.” We live misspent and wasted lives. Jesus asked, “For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mt.16:26). Prior to this He told His disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. They needed to say no to themselves.

In our society, debt is one gigantic problem. Why? We couldn’t say “no.” We bought things we didn’t need with money we didn’t have to fool people we don’t like! Our failure has caught up with us. The only way out is to say “no” to our unnecessary wants. The word for this is maturity. Only grown-ups can say “no.”

You must say “no” before you can say “yes.” This explains most of the world’s problems. We tend to say “yes” without saying “no.” We try to say “yes” to God without first saying “no” to ourselves. Christianity is saying “no” to self and “yes” to God. Why is it easier to say “no” to God than Satan?

“No” is an answer. “No” is even a compete sentence. “No” is a decision and a lifestyle. Learn to say “no” to sin, self, Satan, and silliness. The foundation of a pure Christian life is the ability to know where, when, with whom, and why to say “no.”

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Learn to say “YES!” It’s hard to say “no.” But the more difficult word is “yes.” Why is it hard to say “yes” to God? Many attend worship for years never obeying the gospel. Why? They cannot say “yes” to God. They cannot die to self. They cannot admit need. They are good with “no” but not with the commitment of “yes.” The majority of the world is saying “no” to God. Most don’t know it; most deny it.

We all say “no” to something. But what? We all say “yes” to something. But what? When temptation comes, just say “no.” This still works. It will never be defunct.

– Excerpts from Charles Hodge

(A retired preacher for a Texas congregation)