"Just say no!"

What does it take to stand up to temptations? Spiritual strength—the strength we already have as God's child.

Not long ago the number one record on the British song chart was a song called "Just say no." Al Grogoni and George McMahon, "Just say no" (London: BBC Enterprises, Ltd, 1986) . It is sung by the cast of Grange Hill, a popular weekly television series about the challenges confronting students in a typical urban British comprehensive school (a state run secondary school for eleven-to eighteen-year-olds). The members of the cast have received extensive recognition for the work they are doing as part of a recent antidrug campaign in Britain. Their message is that you can be smart enough and strong enough to say no to drugs.

The song has given me a good deal to think about—beyond its very important antidrug message. Learning when to say no is a very basic lesson for us all. If something is obviously harmful or destructive, we usually keep our distance to avoid being hurt. But learning to distinguish between that which feels good and that which really is good takes more than following a "gut reaction"; it requires spiritual perception and spiritual strength.

Second Thought
June 22, 1987

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