Faith vs. Foolishness…Just say “NO!”
This is a true and unembellished story. Some years ago, a sincere but naÃ¯ve Christian woman, motivated by the hype of the hyper faith movement, walked into a local Chevrolet dealership and purchased a car outright, which she paid for by check. The dealership accepted her check and handed her the keys. A few days later the check was returned for insufficient funds. The car company pursued the lady and had her arrested. When she was interviewed and asked why she wrote a bogus check, she immediately replied that she wrote the check by faith knowing that her God would make it good.
She was so sincere that the dealership dropped the charges and worked out a plan for her to pay for the car. Now, you may say, â€œWell, her faith did work!â€”She ended up with the car.â€ But, on the other hand, mature and reasonable people will rebut such foolishness and surmise that the woman probably received mercy because of her naÃ¯vetÃ© and ignorance.
This story serves as a backdrop for introducing a philosophy in which far too many people operate that of a â€œfaith fantasyâ€ lifestyle falsely labeled â€œpositive thinkingâ€ or â€œfaith walking.â€
A â€œfaith fantasyâ€ philosophy/lifestyle demands that everything in the environment must be positive; negativity is not tolerated. This lifestyle promises that you can have whatever you want, do and say whatever you want; and good things will come to you. Saying or hearing the word, â€œNoâ€ is demonic and deposes true faith. Unfortunately, this mindset causes many of todayâ€™s ills in our families and society; and results in unrealistic expectations and a false sense of entitlement in children and the adults they grow up to be.
â€œThe Power of No!â€
Truthfully, there is a legitimate and necessary place for â€œNoâ€ in our lives and homes. â€œNoâ€ is powerful, therapeutic, and essential for the development of balance, endurance and tenacity. â€œNoâ€ produces creativity, discipline, initiative, patience and strength of character. â€œNoâ€ provides salvation from horrible experiences, disease and life-diminishing (sometimes irreversible) dire circumstances.
Children need to hear â€œNoâ€, and parents need to say â€œNoâ€, at least sometimes. Learning early on to submit to â€œNoâ€ can make the difference between life and death. Parents must infuse in their â€œNoâ€™sâ€ the power to stop children in their tracks. We must judiciously use the power tool of â€œNoâ€ to keep our children home and away from predacious environments that would rob them of their innocence and productive futures.
â€œNoâ€ is not only for children but also for adults. So many of the â€œ…griefs and pains we bearâ€ can be linked back to decisions we made choosing â€œYesâ€ rather than â€œNo.â€ Relationships, purchases, gleeful acceptance of unsolicited credit cards, abruptly quitting jobs rather than following unacceptable directions are all decisions that would have benefitted from the use of â€œNo.â€
You may wonder, â€œWhy is â€œNoâ€ so distasteful?â€ Well, the answer is a bit complicated. Most of us feel a sense of entitlement regarding our desires and do not wish to be denied by hearing the answer, â€œNoâ€. Sociologists and psychologists suggest that to- dayâ€™s culture is in a state of metamorphosis turning from a selfsacrificing, hardworking, purpose driven culture to a selfcentered, aimless, selfserving populace. However, such a blanket assessment is too simplistic and most certainly not always true.
Actually, the stigma associated with â€œNoâ€ affects us in ways that cut to the core of our being. We infer rejection when weâ€™re told â€œNoâ€. Our dreams and goals are frustrated by â€œNoâ€.
Consequently, we have developed a social theology rejecting as â€œsinâ€ all negativity. Indeed even grammarians spank us when we include double negatives in our sentences.
Fortunately, attempts to totally expel â€œNoâ€ and any associated forms of negativity are (here is another negative) doomed to fail.
Consider this. One of the essential parts in all cars is the battery. Curiously protruding from its top are two poles one is labeled positive, but the other is labeled negative; both are necessary to access the batteryâ€™s power.
So, while we embrace the powerful truth that being positive and prepared will deliver satisfying results, we also must recognize that the judicious use of â€œNoâ€ is critical for character building and success in life.
May the Lord bless you and remember, â€œNo weapon formed against you shall prosper.â€