One of the most valuable gifts I ever received was when a friend noticed my need to read in-between the lines and she said, “Angela, I don’t know what relationships you have with other people, but with me, I would like our yeses to be yes, and our noes to be no.” In that moment, I felt absolute freedom. Freedom from the responsibility to be a people pleaser, a peace-keeper, or a mind-reader.
Jesus taught his disciples the same principle. “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” Matthew 5:37 (NIV).
The statement, “anything beyond this comes from the evil one” seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t when you understand that Satan’s main goal is to break relationship. He is famous for using “what we think”, our feelings instead of truth, to turn mental friction into fire, even in the most platonic of conversations.
If you decide to live by the rule of letting your yeses be yes and your noes be no, you give yourself the freedom to say what you need and the responder the option to answer honestly. When you respond to others with the same expectation, holding them accountable for their words, you will eventually stop the unhealthy patterns of non-verbal communication and encourage that person to speak their needs and desires as well.
Today, I invite you to live a life of freedom by simply saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.