We, as followers of Christ, are sometimes viewed as “No” people, as “Thou Shalt Nots”: negative people who call things “sin” that many people like to do. And yes, there are many things that we say “No” to, and do our best to avoid. Moreover, we say “No” not only to things that are bad, but sometimes even to things that are good: for example, when we fast, we say “No” to food, though we believe food is a good thing. This can be a bit confusing to people: why all the No’s? Why not squeeze whatever pleasure you can out of life by saying “Yes” whenever you can to anything that looks good?
The answer to this is simpler than it appears. We say “No” to some things only because we want to say “Yes” to something else. That something is actually a someone: Jesus. We love him and we want to be with him, to follow him, to be like him. To do that, we realize we need to let go of things that don’t fit very well with Jesus, things that get in the way. We say “No” to these things because we want Jesus instead. We are clearing out the rooms of our hearts, the rooms of our lives, not because we like them empty, but because we want to make more room for Jesus.
When people aim for lofty goals, to become an Olympic medalist, to pursue a doctorate, or to build a company, they know the goal will require sacrifices, things that they will need to give up in order to achieve the goal. Our lofty goal is to be with Jesus and to be like him, and we want this so much that we are willing to make sacrifices to get it. When people fall in love, they give up many things — time, money, convenience — to be with their loved ones, and they make great sacrifices out of love for them. We are in love with Jesus: we are willing to give up many things to be with him, and make great sacrifices out of love for him. To us, he is most important, and other things are less important. That is why we say “No” to other things, so we can say “Yes” to Jesus. He is worth it
Copyright 2016, Agapios Theophilus