The word “no” is a very tricky word. In some cases it can be a great word. In others it can be horrible. It can be positive and of course it can be negative. How and when we use it can really have a massive effect on our lives, and we might not even know it. It only has two letters but is arguably the most powerful word in the world.
For long periods of my life I used it in the wrong way. I used it to stop myself from doing things. When opportunities came up for me to get involved in something I would say no. And the reason I said no was because of porn.
Not that every time I got a call from someone asking me to do something would I say no because I was currently in that moment looking at porn. Porn is far more subtle than that. No, it was because porn had gotten into my head and had persuaded me I wasn’t worth the time or energy. Or that I didn’t deserve to be involved. Or if it was something “Christian-y”, I would know what I did and I felt worthless around everyone else; who of course never struggle with anything ever. (Spot the sarcasm in that last sentence). I actually felt afraid to go out and be involved in life with others.
It was debilitating. I didn’t really see what was happening but now I see that porn robbed me of so much, so much joy and so many chances to be someone and somewhere else.
It wasn’t so much that I said no because I wanted to spend time looking at porn. It was more that porn had forced me to say no.
That’s the “negative no”. Thankfully there is a better no. The no that can allow us to breathe and not be afraid.
And the great thing about the “good no” is that eventually it will turn into a yes.
What if we said “No, I’m not going to look at porn today”? Or “No, I’m not going to go home when I know that I will be alone”. Or “No, I won’t walk past the top shelf magazines pretending to head towards the Christian section”. Or “No, I won’t skip time with God and others who have a positive effect on our lives”.
And when you do that on a consistent basis, when you start making conscious decisions to say no to those things, places or people that are holding you back, you will start to find yourself saying yes!
In fact just like when we say no and we don’t even know it, sooner or later you will start to say yes without even knowing it.
One of the reasons we find ourselves having looked at porn at 2am and feeling like crap is because we just say no to other things, without even really thinking about it. That’s why we honestly feel like we don’t know how we get to those horrible moments where we feel like massive frauds and failures.
And the same is true of the opposite.
When you say no, porn will have less and less of an effect on our decisions until the yes decision becomes our natural instinct.
Saying no to porn and saying yes to the life we were meant to live will become a natural thing. It will be less about having to make that choice, and more about wanting to make that choice.
You won’t be afraid of other people anymore. You won’t be afraid of really being yourself again. You will feel more comfortable, confident and you will find your worth again in God.
That’s got to be something we can all say yes to!