Some people have driven personalities. When they get something in their minds, they go for it. They don’t let anything get in the way, and they don’t take no for an answer.
When you have some influence or sway with a person like that, you need to understand the hearing problem they have. You can say, “No,” all you want. They will never hear it. They’ll only hear, “Yes, maybe, or not right now.”
I know this to be true because I married one of these people. My lovely bride never hears “No!” We’ve been united in holy matrimony for nineteen years now, and I seldom use that two-letter word anymore. It’s fruitless and a waste of breath to do so.
“These individuals are great to have around.”
The great thing about these kinds of folks is their tenacity. They never give up. They are persistent and determined. They are doggedly tireless and resolute in every quest that means anything to them.
These individuals are great to have around. When everyone else is throwing in the towel, they are just beginning to plot, scheme, and connive their way to glory. It’s rather uncanny to watch. Everyone needs one of these guys or gals on their side. Winston Churchill once said, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” He was another who never heard, “No!”
Jesus once told his disciples that it’s “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24) His disciples were beside themselves and asked if anyone could be saved. His answer was, “with God all things are possible.”
I’m convinced that many of us give up all too easily. That’s particularly true when we’re fighting a spiritual battle or seeking a spiritual answer. We succumb all too quickly to a simple “no” from the enemy.
“Giving up is not a good option.”
In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul tell us, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) The “him” is the Lord—the Holy Spirit of God. Passages like this should help us get beyond “no” to the answers and victories we seek in life.
We are not destined to be spiritual failures. We are not called to be losers. Jesus gained the victory for all of us. Following in his footsteps ensures our victory as well. Giving up is not a good option.
That’s not to say we’ll never make a wrong decision and land in some dead end. It does mean, however, that mistakes can be corrected and correct paths chosen. In Christ, we are overcomers. So (as we used to say in the old days), keep on keepin’ on. No is a small word in comparison to the God of the impossible.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]