Writer & Eternal Student

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[They Say]

Does Your Yes Mean No and No Mean Yes?

Published: July 20, 2007

When you say yes, do you mean yes? When you say no do you mean no?

Sounds simple, but unfortunately, people have made it difficult.

If you have a reputation for being are a person of your word, and you are asked a question your yes or no will stand on its own. Folks who don’t often keep their word will have to bolster their yes by saying things like, “Yes, I promise, I swear I’ll do it. No, really, I mean it this time. Cross my heart.”

Those are the words of someone who has been unreliable in the past.

Think about it. Do you promise to take your kids to the park and find that the day is getting away from you? As the day gets later you realize it's time to prepare dinner, and you no longer have the time or energy to take them? Understandable, but did you make a promise that you would? Is your yes a yes, or is it a ‘yes, but look at my circumstances and understand why I can’t take you.’ In other words, your yes was not a yes.

Yes means Yes and No means No

Here’s a biblical point of reference for you, Matthew 5:37: “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

I’m pointing this out because at the time I read that I was knee deep in not living up to a promise to my daughter. As silly as it sounds, I had promised that I would wake her up early so we can take a walk around the lake. In my mind, I wanted to spend a little time reading my Bible before I woke her up. Then I read Matthew 5:37. I looked at the time and realize that I had spent ample time reading and should put the good book down to live up to my promise. Darn it. My yes has to be yes and my no, no.

After sharing the above verse with my 11-year-old daughter, she now understands when she pesters me to go to the mall and I say no, don’t bother me with it again because my yes is yes and my no...

About the Author: I am Felicia A. Williams, a wife, mom, grandma, writer and eternal student.

Last Modified: 26 November 2020

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