Ministry Resources

Can You Say “No”?

Author: Dave Beroth

Researchers at Stanford found that “no” is one of the first 10 words most kids learn. “No” is such an easy one-syllable word to say; but as we grow up, it is such a hard word to say to ourselves.

The story of Ahab’s heartless intention to acquire Naboth’s vineyard intrigues me. It’s found in 1 Kings 21. I appreciate Naboth’s fortitude to not give away, trade, or even sell his family’s inheritance. He said “no.” Every time I read this story I walk away with something of value. Along this journey of life, learning to say “no” has great rewards. However, it is challenging to hear and challenging to say.

It may have been difficult for Naboth to say “no” to Ahab, especially if Ahab’s offer was substantially more than the fair value of the land. Obviously, Ahab did not want to hear the word “no.” At the end of the day, he couldn’t accept the answer “no.” So, Jezebel helped him set up a wicked plan to steal the vineyard. Trust me, there will always be those who will want to take from you what is precious.

Just prior to the two verses below, Solomon lists several urgent tips to avoid the path of the wicked. In other words, say “no.” Hold firmly onto wisdom. Don’t even relax your grip. Invest your time with wise people. Avoid the foolish. Don’t imitate the behaviors of the wicked. Don’t even stop and listen. Keep on moving toward wisdom.

Keep on moving toward wisdom

Read his reasons for the urgency. “16 For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble. 17 They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!” (Proverbs 4:16-17 NLT). The story of Naboth’s vineyard draws out two questions: Can I say “no” to others that want to take what is precious to me?’ Can I accept “no” when it is not for me to have?’

Lessons From Naboth’s vineyard:

  • There are some things you should never sell, no matter the price! What are they?
  • There are some things you can’t have. How do you respond to “No.”?
  • There are some things you can have, but the price is too high. Can you say “No.”?
  • Always Count The Cost.

If I say “yes,” am I selling out on someone or something I value? If I say “yes,” am I harming someone I value?

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