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How do you respond to someone who says no to you? Do you take offence or do you accept the boundary established by the other person?
The power of NO!
Saying no to someone has the power to reveal what is truly in the heart of the other person.
Saying no to someone affects the will of the other. Suddenly the other person cannot just do what he or she wants to. She or he encounters a boundary that demands a response. Will the boundary be met with resistance or with understanding; with selfish ambition or humility; with offence or respect; with conflict or compliance?
Sadly many people don't respond well to no. Instead of seeking to understand why the boundary is established and honouring that boundary, they take offence and will sometimes even leave the relationship.
Mature relationships are built as boundaries are respected
Unfortunately, in many cases, when boundaries are not accepted, the person who set the boundary is considered inconsiderate, unloving and ungracious. The tables are turned and the person who is actually the baddy and who disrespected the boundary, now accuses the person who set the boundary as the baddy! Amazing!
I have seen people walk out of relationships so many times because they were not prepared to respect the boundaries of others. People leave churches, friendships, and marriages rather than honour boundaries and accept no. Instead of respecting no and seeking to understand why the boundary exists, they take offence and accuse the boundary-setter for their choices.
Regardless of whether you think someone shouldn't be setting a boundary, how have you responded to their no in the past? Do you hold a grudge against them? Have you separated yourself from them, emotionally or physically?
What is your response when an authority figure in your life says no to you? Do you respect him or her or do you resent him or her for setting boundaries?
Do an attitude check, next time someone says no to you. What is your response? What does it reveal about you? How do you respond when God says no?
I want to encourage you to think about what boundaries are important to you that you would like others to respect and to examine what boundaries others are putting in place and learn to respect those boundaries.