“NO” is a complete sentence

We have a small plaque in our kitchen that emphatically states, “’NO’ is a complete sentence.”

NOThat declaration is extremely important for children, especially teenagers, to understand. There is a lot of wisdom in those words. It expresses the same sentiment as “BECAUSE I SAID SO!,” in a less confrontational manner and it is far more articulate than “NO MEANS NO!”

Sometimes the best answer to a question is “no.” As a people pleaser, I always want to say “yes,” but it is unwise to do so. Saying “yes” every time would make me easy prey for telemarketers and committees seeking volunteers. Saying “yes” more often would make my waistline expand even faster.

Saying “yes” when you should say “no” makes you a pushover. We once had a neighbor who moved to another town but had business in our city that required him to commute for a time. He asked if could stay with us to avoid hotel expenses. Even though we were not fond of the guy, we said yes. We assumed he meant to stay for one week. He ended up staying with us for five weeks! He ate our food and monopolized our conversation. He never helped with chores or chipped in for meals. He even had us feed some friends of his who were in town for a visit. To him, we were the Doormat family and he was happy to take advantage of us. It was a fantastic lesson in the benefits of saying “no.”

Our Heavenly Father hears a lot of requests from His children and He always answers the prayers of believers. Fortunately, His answer is not always yes.

God sometimes says “no” for very good reasons. Sometimes we ask for things that are not beneficial to our spiritual development. Sometimes we pray for things that are contrary to God’s perfect will. We often ask for things out of selfish or prideful motives. We even ask for things for will hurt us.

There’s this thing I’ve been praying about for months now. I’ve prayed fervently and reverently. This thing I’m praying for is (in my opinion) a good thing that will benefit God’s Kingdom and me, as well. So far, God has said “no.”

I have to admit, I’m a little frustrated.

It’s interesting, and maybe a little ironic, that humbly accepting God’s “no” requires more faith than praying in the first place. When you accept God’s no, you acknowledge that He knows best.

If “no” is God’s answer to your prayer, don’t be angry and try not to be disappointed. He loves you more than you love yourself. God has a divine purpose and He doesn’t have to explain it to you. His NO is a complete sentence.


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