I’ve been pondering Matthew 25:1-13 lately.
Especially verse 9:
When the foolish virgins asked the wise virgins to share their oil, the wise virgins said, “No … there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” (NIV)
I’ve read this story hundreds of times, but this time I noticed that
- when the wise were asked by the foolish to share their readiness resources, the wise said, “No.”
- the wise recognized that if they shared, the result could be everyone “burning out.”
- the wise were unwilling to “burn out” because the foolish failed to prepare.
- the wise told the foolish where to get their own readiness resources.
And I’ve been asking myself
- What are my “readiness resources” that I need to wisely keep fully stocked?
- When I give from these reserves, who benefits? who suffers? who learns?
- Is “borrowed readiness” even possible?
Yes vs. No
What triggered this line of questioning is this blog post by Lysa TerKeurst a few weeks ago, in which she discusses how to say “no” and when to say “yes”:
“The decisions we make, make the life we live. So if we want to live better, we’ve got to decide better. Yes. No. The two most powerful words in the English language.
They can run us if we don’t intentionally run them. Guard them. Guide them. Use yes and no to work for us. Can you imagine how great life would be if you didn’t dread saying yes and felt completely and unapologetically empowered to say no?” (“The Most Non-Crazy Woman I’ve Ever Met“)
Oh, and this one (which I tried to quote but realized anything but the whole thing would ruin it!): “Don’t Kick the Anthill!”
Jesus Said What?
I am still blinking in amazement to discover that Jesus told a story in which women who said “no” are called “wise.”
And I’m praying to discern the difference between a wise “no” and a foolish “no.”
There’s got to be a difference between selfishly hoarding that which God has given me to share…and keeping that which keeps me in relationship with Him.
What’s your relationship to the word “no”?