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Why We Stop Saying Yes (And Why We Shouldn’t!)


It’s the can-do word.

It’s the answer of someone who’s ready and willing.

It’s the response of faith to a God who loves to stretch us and to grow us.

And, yes is the scariest word in your vocabulary if you’ve grown spiritually safe and comfortable.


No is easier.

No is smarter (or so it seems).

No is the answer of someone who’s tired or afraid.

No is the reaction of one who’s no longer willing to say yes because no is safer.

And, no is the scariest word in any language because it robs us of our God-given purpose and destiny.

There once was a young man who said yes to God, and that moment changed everything.

He was a tradesman who worked in the family business. His father was proud and looked forward to the day when his boys would carry on his moderately successful fishing enterprise. Life was steady. The work hard, but rewarding. Business was booming, and the future looked bright.

One cool fall evening while mending nets by the fire and sea, the young man said, “Father.”

“Yes, son.”

“Something incredible happened to me today.”

Intrigued, the old man smiled and said, “Tell me more; you know how I love a good story.”

“Yes, I know, but this story could be difficult for you to hear because it might change everything.”

The father leaned in, now more concerned than curious, “What is there to change? All is well. Life is good. Change is the pursuit of fools.”

“I met a man, a Rabbi; I think he’s the One. He’s called me to leave these nets to become a ‘fisher of men.’ And I said, Yes!

A father says no, a son says yes. One becomes bitter, the other better.

Yes changes things.

A few years pass. The young man’s path was rarely easy, but always full. Always a test, yet always an adventure nonetheless.

Once, invited by the Teacher, he walked on water! The miracle worker said, “Come,” and for one surreal moment, water became fixed. (If only his faith were as solid.)

But yes changed him, again.

Yes always changes things.

Now older, wiser, bigger, and better, his heart has learned the secret of yes, but he also knows the cost.

“Yes, not My will, but Yours be done.” was noble of the Teacher, but the man now knew that the Rabbi’s invitation to come and see eventually leads to come and die. “Yes will cost me too,” he mused.

And eventually, it did.

In fact, his long journey of yes led him to the same fate as the Teacher’s.

Crucified, yet alive forever.

Why do some of us start out so willing to say Yes only to end up stubbornly clinging to no?

Perhaps it is because we have learned the secret. Yes is costly. Yes is hard. Yes indeed changes everything.

No is safer. Better. Easier. Smarter (or so it seems). Surely, no one can avoid no forever.

Yes is for the young. Yes is for those with plenty of time left to recover. Yes can’t always be the right answer to God.

Unless it is.

Unless we remember that the deeper secret is that yes is the pathway to joy because yes is the only answer that leads to life. Deep. Full. Abundant.

You see, adventure was the Teacher’s plan from the beginning.

But yes is costly.

Yes took Jesus to a cross. And Peter too.

And yes absolutely changed everything.

Yes changed (and is changing) you and me.

So, what’s the question?

When God is the one asking, Yes! is best.

Jesus humbled Himself, [he said yes!]
obedient to death—
a merciless death on the cross!
But God raised Him up to the highest place
and gave Him the name above all.

Philippians 2:8-9  (VOICE)




Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Debi Stoker

    Wow! I felt so much confirmation from your blog ! Yes is so hard and costly it seems at times, but no better place to be then saying Yes where and when He calls us! Thank you so much!

  2. Ellen

    Yes even at 61
    Rick is also blogging mainly to pastors in South Asia
    Would you like to see and maybe use them in Botswana? Let me know

  3. Martha Orlando

    Saying “yes” to Jesus may not be a safe and guaranteed journey, but it’s the best one any of us could ever be on!
    Blessings, Kurt!

  4. Brenda

    This is so true for me and I work on it all the time. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Rebecca Gump

    Love it! And I agree Our momentary suffering pales in comparison to the glory that awaits us for eternity. So Yes is best!

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