Knowing When To Say “No”

Tuesday night I watched with interest several of the RNC speakers. The diversity was interesting.  Not only from the standpoint of race or gender, but of speaking style and content. Probably the most interesting contrasts were the final two speakers–Ann Romney and Governor Chris Christie.   Mrs. Romney presented a warm, personal and heart-felt plea for us to know her husband better.  And Christie was feisty, fervent and fiery in his presentation.  The governor had several quotable lines from his speech.  One that I particularly liked was this statement.

“Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times. Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.”

Whether you like or loathe Governor Christie, what he said is true. What he said not only fits physically, but spiritually.  These words apply not only to our country, but to the church.  The principle applies not just to us as Americans, but to Christians with a heavenly citizenship.

We live in a world that desires we conform with its priorities. Its passions.  Its pursuits.  Yet our citizenship calls to a greater purpose.  Self control.  Godly quests.  Paul’s admonitions to the citizens and Christians of Rome still speak to our generation.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  (Rom. 12:1-2).

Conformity to our current culture is easy.  Accepted.  Comfortable.  It’s difficult to be different.  To swim against the current.  To uphold truth, when others embrace error.  To be swayed by passion instead of standing on principle. To care more about being right than being popular. To say “no when everyone around us is saying “yes.”

Christie spoke often of telling the truth.  I suppose some might disagree with  what the truth is politically.  But there is no question spiritually that Jesus was right when he said, “You shall know the Truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). Later in His prayer to the Father, he pled “Sanctify them through your word, your Word is truth” (Jn 17:17).

I’m afraid in the world that has gone mad with lust and license, many have decided there is no such thing as truth anymore.  Morals and ethics have become relative in our day.  Age old truths regarding sexual purity, marriage between a man and woman, and the sanctity of life have been thrown on the garbage heap in favor of convenience and pragmatism.

The governor said in his speech, “Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless.”  No doubt he was referring to issues of balancing the budget, tax reform, and fiscal responsibility. But the real issues are bigger than our budget.  They are deeper than our deficit.  They are greater than our debt.

The problems of this country are inherently spiritual. Moral. Ethical.  Sin is  our real problem.  We have sunk to the level of those in Isaiah’s day of whom it is said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,And prudent in their own sight! (Isa 5:20-21).

God help us to stand up for Jesus.  To hold high the banner of truth.  To say “yes” to God’s Word.  God’s way.  God’s will.  And give us the courage to know when to say NO!”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

3 Comments

Filed under Truth

3 responses to “Knowing When To Say “No”

  1. Valerie

    It is sad to say, but you are exactly right. Ever wonder why a Christian never runs for office? Sort of reminds me of the day Pilate gave a choice for one to be released from bondage…the mob “voted”, and the ballots were accepted. The majority often get exactly what they want; how-be-it to their own demise, and they take the innocent down along with them.

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