Just Say No
Our pastor is teaching through the New Testament book of James and a recent message was entitled “How to Say No in a Yes World.” A portion of the sermon is shared in this blog because it is relevant to encouraging parents to empower their children to refrain from much of what the world says they must have, be and do—learning to say “No” in a “Yes” world.
I often thought that if I played by all of God’s rules, regularly attended church and followed other moral requirements that I wouldn’t be tempted and have problems. James 1:13 says, “When tempted…” That says that I’m not immune from temptations, they will come.
A component of overcoming or facing down temptation is preparation. Knowing that it will come, I can be ready for it. Staring an enticing situation in the face is not the time to plan on how to resist it. When the fox is in the hen house, it’s a little late to shut the door. I can mentally rehearse, if you will, how to handle certain situations.
How does this relate to the theme of family, addiction and recovery?
Parents are charged with the responsibility of preparing their children to face the world but many times it seems we’ve abdicated our positions to electronic babysitters and the media. Below are some suggestions for reining back your authority:
- Get Ready – Know that the temptations and tests will come. No family is immune from them and burying our heads in the sand won’t keep the wolves from our doors. As a family, discuss different scenarios and how you might handle them. At least be aware; it’s the little things that trip us up and cause a fall.
- Recognize Deception – Technology provides more access to enticements than ever before. Movies, television shows and videos portray drinking, drugs and sex as the only way to have fun, but they don’t portray the destruction that can come as a result of abuse. It’s not much fun being an addict, alcoholic or an unwed mother, but the commercials don’t show that side of the equation. Help your children recognize and understand all that glitters is not gold.
- Realize Death is a Possibility – Discuss with your children that risky behaviors carry the risk of death. It only takes one bad experience to be fatal. Each year many families lose a loved one to a first-time drug usage gone badly.
- Get Rolling – Encourage your children to run when temptation comes. It takes more courage to flee from the situation than to stay and give in to it. The desire to be popular often keeps our children in dangerous situations; they don’t want to appear to be “chicken” to try something.
- Follow God – Encourage your children to pursue the “good” traits. Assist in building character strengths: goodness, godliness, endurance, gentleness, patience, etc. They can still have fun, be popular and successful.
Raising children in today’s world is difficult, but if we are aware that temptations will come and are prepared for them, the prospects are much better for our children, our families and our world.
You can say “No” in a “Yes” world.
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