Say Yes or No Daddy!

“Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37

Odd words I’ve always thought. Until recently.

Here is our three year old (four tomorrow!) son, Owen. He, like I imagine most pre-schoolers is incredibly inquisitive.

Yesterday he asked me if he could play the PS3. I told him that maybe he could play it after lunch. He replied, “Yes or no daddy. Yes or no?“.

Maybe is not a word he understands. Or perhaps its a word he doesn’t want to understand. He wants a yes or no answer. He wants assurance either way. It made me realize that I use ‘maybe’ a lot.

For me, using the word ‘maybe’ is a way of saying ‘no’ without actually saying it. It’s like I dance around the word ‘no’ but feel better because I’m not actually telling my son that he can’t do something. Even though that’s what I am really getting at.

Saying ‘maybe’ is not telling the truth. Jesus declares the devil to be the father of lies. So saying anything other than ‘yes’ or ‘no’ does come from him.

We beat around the bush too often. We’re not honest with people enough. About anything.

My son has taught me that I should be. If I’m not going to let him do something, I need to tell him that. I need to show him that being honest is important. That being honest is a virtue we should all ascribe to.

In the youth work I do, I should be honest when young people ask me if we’re going to do this or that. I shouldn’t say ‘maybe’. Because ‘maybe’ isn’t really saying anything to them. It might make me feel better but I that’s not what it’s about.

Let’s get rid of the maybes in this world and start saying what we really mean. Let our yes mean yes and our no mean no.


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