Confession: Getting your mouth washed out with soap tastes like…
I know this for a fact thanks to my slight potty mouth when I was growing up. It wasn’t a rampant problem, but would often happen at the most inopportune times.
And by inopportune, I really mean the times that my Mom would hear it.
Then out came the bar of soap. (Or, if it was a REALLY bad word, enter sink left the liquid Dial soap. Ever try to get that off your tongue? Yeah, um yuck?)
Fortunately over the last few years, I have been striving (via God’s grace) to dramatically reduce my tendency to use dirty words. For the words that I haven’t completely eliminated all together, I have toned down my outbursts. Now when I stub my toe in the dark, I holler out “Bologna Sandwiches!” or “Cheese and Crackers!” or sometimes just make some garbled noise that sounds something like “MaayyyyllaaablaaaOUCH!”
Precious, I know.
It’s been quite the process, not gonna lie. (A great journey worth taking, but challenging nonetheless.)
However, I have discovered a new “dirty word” in my life…
The word “NO.”
I don’t like to be told no. And I am not super awesome at saying “No” when I need to. Sometimes we convince ourselves that “No” is a dirty word and we should never say it when it comes to turning down commitments or requests that have been presented to us.
However, sometimes “No” is a very important word– and it’s not “dirty” at all. In fact, it can be much-needed.
Recently, I was presented with an opportunity that my flesh (and the world) screamed YES to… but my heart was fighting to say NO. My brain is so wired to jump on new experiences that I really had to wrestle with it for a while. Saying yes is good, saying no is bad, right? Wrong. After some prayer and time with God, He confirmed that while it was a GOOD opportunity, it wasn’t His best for me… So I had to say no.
And when I did– it didn’t feel like a “dirty word” at all. It was freeing.
In a world of YES’s, saying NO can sometimes feel kinda yucky. HOWEVER… As hard as the no’s seem sometimes, we must try remember that there are lots of GOOD things that might distract us from God’s best… so I pray I can say yes to His best– no more no less.
The key to living a life of obedience is balance– and communion with God. Sometimes He is going to want us to say yes, sometimes no. It just depends on the context and the situation. But we have to treat each situation individually, taking it to Him so we don’t miss out on His best for us.
Do you struggle with saying “No?” Is it programmed in your brain as a “dirty word?” In what areas of your life is saying “No” the most challenging? What do you believe God’s best looks like for you?
I am so thankful that God is patient with us when it comes to our mindset of pleasing Him vs. pleasing the world. He is kind and gentle, and no matter what our answer (whether it was right, wrong or somewhere in between) His grace covers us. He washes us clean with the blood of Jesus– not with a bar of soap on our tongue. (WHEW!)
As long as we are seeking His will for our lives… We don’t have to worry about no being a “dirty” word.
“Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.” ~1 Corinthians 6:12 (MSG)
PS: We currently have a giveaway in progress. Check out Monday’s post (A Solid Foundation) to enter!