Message of Faith – Yes and No

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

In Matthew 5:37 Jesus tells us, “Let you ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’. While this seems to be obvious advice, let us look a little more deeply at what he is saying.

So many times our yes arises out of a sense of duty, obligation, guilt, or tradition. Our no is often not expressed but held within from a sense of not wanting to disappoint or anger. How often is your yes or no coming from your honest and authentic voice?

And that’s not all. Too often we say neither yes nor no. We make no decision at all because it seems too difficult to make a decision. In this way, you can easily remain stuck in habitual thinking and acting because choosing something else seems too overwhelming. When you make no decision, you often don’t realize you are still saying yes to something and oftentimes that something is not what you would like!

What have you said yes to today? You’ve likely said yes to getting out of bed, getting dressed, driving to work, eating your meals, watching television. You may have said yes to a time of prayer or meditation. You may have said yes to spending some time on facebook or reading a newspaper. Whether you realize it or not, all the activity you are involved in throughout your day require a yes, even if that yes arises from an unconscious level.

At the same time the yes arose, the no was also implied. Saying yes to getting out of bed, you also said no to pulling the covers over your head for a few more moments of rest. As you drove to work, there is an implied no to whatever else may have been calling to you on this day.

Why is this so important to understand?

Well, that comes around to Jesus again. How often do you say yes, while in your mind you are fighting every step of the way? You may say yes to getting out of bed while at the same time your mind is thinking, “Oh I just want to sleep a little longer; I can’t wait for this day to end so I can crawl back in bed; I can’t wait until Saturday when I can sleep in again.” You get the picture. You’ve said yes in your action, but your thoughts are filled with no.

If you are saying or doing one thing while thinking something else, you are caught in conflict. Your yes is really a no even though you couldn’t tell that from your actions. And all that conflict removes you from the wonder, the glory, the beauty, the mystery, the abundance, and the joy of living each moment fully in God’s creation.

Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne


Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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