My two and a half year old loves to say no to anything that she does not want to do. She’ll tell you no when you ask her if she wants to eat. Ask her if she needs to potty and the answer is no. Ask her if she’s ready to go to bed and she gives an emphatic no, no, no!
And she hates hearing it as much as she loves saying it. My daughter tells me that my little princess can throw a royal tantrum when she’s told no.
Aren’t we just like her? Think about it for a moment.
Our love/hate relationship with the word no has caused us to gain weight, be out of shape, go into debt, destroy relationships, and walk away from God.
No means that we can’t have our way and, like any two and a half year old, we absolutely hate not getting our way.
Liberty is a child and has someone who will back up her no with discipline but we don’t. We’re adults. We get what we want even when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s bad for us. We have money and can drive so we can go and get what we want when we want it. We can eat whatever we want. We can charge it if we can’t afford it. And if someone gets in our way, we can leave them because they’re not making us happy.
With God, we throw royal tantrums when he tells us no. We question if he’s real. We throw his promises into his face as demands. And if he still tells us no, we walk away because he’s not any use to us anymore.
Like a two and a half year old, we think that no‘s sole purpose is to deny our desire and we don’t like that at all!
For a moment, think about this from a parent’s perspective. Hannah is telling Liberty no because she’s loves her. She knows that cookies for breakfast are not a good for her. And pooping in your pants is just gross. She tells Liberty it’s time for bed because she needs rest to grow. For Hannah, no is another word for love.
And it’s the same for us. Remember, I wrote about loving yourself awhile back. If we truly love ourselves, we can harness the power of no and come to understand that we are not being denied, we are being empowered!