Let Their No Be No

I am a fiercely independent person. I don’t like people speaking for me or answering questions for me. Ever since I was young, I have been this way. I’m not saying it’s ALWAYS served me well, but it has definitely allowed me the chance to call my own shots. I tend to be fairly decisive in most situations, but I struggle to find patience for people who aren’t that way.

Drive-through windows at restaurants are the worst for me. When I see someone sitting in front of the menu before they get to the ordering speaker thingy, and they don’t even look at it. (Does anyone know what that thing is called?) Then, when they get to the “speaker thingy” (Is it an intercom?) they finally look at the menu and take forever to order. I can’t understand why they couldn’t just look at the menu, or maybe find one on their phone before they get to the window to order. I know….1st world problems, and I probably shouldn’t be eating fast food anyway, but is it actually FAST food when someone takes that long to order?

I. HATE. WAITING!

I hate it when a light turns green and people don’t go. I don’t like when people are standing in the middle of an aisle during a busy event and block everyone from getting around them. I don’t deal well with people who promise to do something and never follow through. It drives me insane when you text someone with a yes/no question, you can see that they read it, and they take two days to answer. Am I the only one who feels this way? Truthfully, I know I’m not.

All of this is to say that I would be more than willing to remotely control someone’s gas pedal for them. I have no problem finding a nice spot for people to sit that is out of the way and not blocking an aisle. If I could magically make someone more responsible, I would….. in a heartbeat, and I’m more than willing to make decisions for people. That last one, however, is a big problem that many of us struggle with when it comes to evangelism. 

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”
Matthew 16:24–27

The cost of discipleship is great. If you’ve been a believer for any significant time, you know this. To ask someone to be willing to give up their life as they know it and follow after Christ is a huge decision, and it’s one that each person needs to make for themselves. Unfortunately, many people will never get that chance, because someone makes that decision for them without them even knowing.

It’s an unfortunate story that I’ve heard many times in my life. “I would tell them about Jesus, but they won’t listen.” “I know they’re just going to shoot me down, so why should I even bother trying to tell them about the Gospel?” “What’s the point in trying to tell people about Jesus when you know their answer is going to be no?” When we use questions like these as excuses for not sharing the gospel with people, we are simply answering for them. We are saying, “I will choose hell and damnation for this person because I’m too scared to get turned down.”

Does that make you angry? Do you feel a touch attacked? Or…..does it make you angry because you’ve allowed yourself to become that person? I do my best to be completely transparent in these devotions, and I want to be honest when I say this. I’ve been that person. I’ve made excuses like that, and I pray that I haven’t been the roadblock for someone to find hope in Christ. I’ve found myself struggling to sleep at night when I think about the people I should have said something to. It’s their decision, not mine. We read in Matthew 5:37…

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’”
Matthew 5:37

That freedom to answer for yourself needs to be honored. Our job is to be salt and light to the world. It’s not to assume, to rush to a conclusion, or haphazardly claim defeat. We need to share the Gospel of Christ with those around us. 

 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13–16

When we make the decision for others when it comes to their eternity, we are, in a very real way, making ourselves out to be God. We’re deciding who won’t spend eternity with Christ. Is that what we really want to do? Instead of leaning into despair, maybe we need to lean into hope. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

We have an amazing gift that we can offer to others. Instead of assuming what the answer will be when we share it, let’s allow people the opportunity to accept it.

1 Comment


Emily - March 19th, 2024 at 7:38pm

Love the realness!!!

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