Article contributed by Rosey Johnson

Exclusively for The Christian Mission


Often times we use faith to help us make the right decisions. Strong faith and spiritual guidance can play significant roles in our determinations, big and small. While many tend to look at these aspects of decision-making as the ones that are behind affirmation and enthusiasm however, faith and spiritual guidance can also lead us toward saying “no” when we need to. Below, we’re going to take a look at how to use the power of the spirit in this thoroughly constructive way.

What does scripture say about saying no?

Genesis 3:6 reads, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

We know that in the beginning, Eve was tempted into eating the fruit even though she and Adam were supposed to say “no” to the snake –– a mistake that follows and defines man to this day! While we accept this as a fundamental aspect of what makes us human, however, it can also be read as the Bible’s first and most powerful lesson about saying no (as Eve, of course, should have). Making decisions for ourselves and being accountable for the consequences is something that we must do on a daily basis, and our faith can remind us that sometimes those decisions need to involve negative responses.

If you want a more direct example, meanwhile, you can also turn to Matthew 5:37: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ –– anything more than this comes from evil.”

Am I less Christian if I say no?

Absolutely not. Christians often have to struggle between being selfless and setting boundaries. Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s New York Times bestseller titled “Boundaries” emphasizes the importance of learning to say no without sacrificing being a loving person –– which is what we’re aiming for as Christians. It acknowledges that Christians often spend so much time focusing on being loving and giving that we forget our own limitations.

This is a vital lesson, and it’s ultimately up to us to be able to say no when needed so as to not stretch ourselves thin, and it’s absolutely okay for us to draw boundaries in order to protect ourselves and keep ourselves as physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy as possible. This is not a selfish endeavor, but one that also enables us to serve God and our neighbors as best we can.

How can I say no?

Just as we all know there are many ways to say no that can be hurtful, there are also –– fortunately –– plenty of ways to do it without coming across as rude or insensitive. Author Jonathan Alpert’s piece on Inc. is particularly helpful in this regard, and gives us seven ways to effectively say no politely, and without feeling badly. One of Jonathan’s tips, for example, is to “be assertive and courteous,” which is a perfectly normal and healthy response to a question or favor that we may not feel comfortable with. It’s simple advice, but it’s a nice reminder that saying no does not have to be inherently contentious, insensitive, or disappointing.

Community bonds

Here at Our Cristian Mission we continue to strive to empower the community to forge stronger relationships and collaborate to improve the quality of life for those in need. Through this community collaboration, we know that members will develop strong bonds with each other –– and among other things, these relationships will prove invaluable with regard to teaching us how and when to set boundaries. Familiarity and openness with others also helps us to feel more at ease with these boundaries (and the occasional “no”), and we hope that this openness is ever more present amongst the families we serve.

Ultimately, being able to say “no” is an important skill in nearly all aspects of life, including in our faith. Luckily, our faith, beliefs, and communities also help us with the necessary resources and tools we need to feel comfortable saying no when needed.


Article contributed by Rosey Johnson

Exclusively for The Christian Mission