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Can You Say No

August 21, 2008

    I recently read a short story about a girl who said, “I don’t have the courage or the strength in me to stand up and say no.” Do you ever feel that way when you are faced with something that you know could cause you pain or put you in danger? Perhaps you think that you may not have enough willpower to say no or you don’t have a good role model to help you with life’s tough decisions.

    Maybe you have a friend who wants you to steal something or try drugs or alcohol, and you find it hard to say, “No, I won’t do that.” Peer pressure is a hard thing to deal with, especially in your teenage years. I know because I was there once myself, and now I have two teenagers of my own!

    You might be thinking, I don’t have the courage or strength to stand up and say no. And sometimes you may end up doing something wrong before realizing that you should have said no, but the time you figure that out it’s way too late to avoid serious consequences. But there is one thing you can count on: God is always there to help you—if you just ask Him. When you encounter a problem situation and are worried that you won’t have the strength to make the right decision, try to take a step back, reflect on your options, think about the consequences, and let God guide you to the right decision. God can provide you with the strength to say no if you really don’t want to regret a potential poor choice because of peer pressure.

    Psalm 18:2,3 says: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” Wow! Now that is powerful! The Bible clearly tells us that the Lord will be there for us, and that He will deliver us and strengthen us if we just call to Him. So when you are feeling hard-to-resist pressure from your friends to do something wrong that you know could cause you or your family pain, look to God and use His strength to help you say no. God won’t let you down.

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