A Word to the Wise: Two little words help shape our lives

By: Tom Rupp
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Some people think that the smarter you are, the more you will use long and difficult words to demonstrate your smarts. The words “yes” and “no” are small grammatically but they can carry a lot of weight in life. Behold the power of yes and no. I read a recent article by Dr. Richard Stieglitz about how these two little words shape our lives. It’s true — “you and I chose to be exactly where we are today, doing exactly what we are doing, and having exactly what we have by the yes’s and no’s we choose in our past. I am the sum of all the yes’s and no’s I have ever said.” Think of how it applies to our bodies. We are the result of our accumulated food choices. If I choose to eat a gallon of ice cream every day, the result of such a choice will be evident. Think of how it applies to our education. If I choose to attend and pass enough classes, a diploma will mark the result of these choices. Think of how it applies to our attitude. If I choose to fill my mind with negativity and worry, I will be a negative worrier. God may forgive our sins, but we still have to deal with the consequences. However, a “yes” is not always a good thing and a “no” is not always a bad thing. It is not wise to say yes to illegal drugs and it is not wise to say no to local traffic signs, for instance. So here is a possible breakdown of this principle. Look at your life — you perhaps have said “yes” to education, marriage, a healthy diet, a godly lifestyle, a happy family and it shows. Maybe you have said “no” to alcohol abuse, fast-food, excessive television viewing and it shows. Well, our lives today are the accumulated result of these responses, so far. That is the key — so far. Change is possible, but as the old saying goes, “nothing changes if nothing changes” Today is the day to say yes to God, to life, to love. Today is the day to say no to selfishness, to hatred, to indifference. After all, you can either accept your fate or create your destiny. It’s in your hands. Or rather, I should say, it’s in your mouth. It’s as plain and basic as saying yes or no. Tom Rupp is a Bible teacher at Capital Bible College. He can be reached at or on his blog at