It’s always great to have those in your life that will stand behind you no matter what. They will support you, your journey, your calling, and path but when push comes to shove and important decisions have to be made, we tend to become overly reliant upon their words and desperate for their approval. The Bible often speaks of the frailty of man, our foolishness, our corrupt ways, our tendency to be both self-seeking and vain. These are all areas people can identify with and each of us has to become more diligent to not falling into traits that are not of God. It’s a very real struggle and the trusted people within our lives are there to help keep us from stumbling while also encouraging us to remain focused, committed and humble.
Proverbs 27:6 AMP states “Faithful are the wounds of a friend (who corrects out of love and concern), But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda.]
Ephesians 4:25 ESV states “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
Transformation takes time and we’re all on this journey together but when you have “Yes-Men” in your life you must become aware of how they both positively and negatively affect you.
The definition of a “Yes-Man”, is a person who agrees with everything that is said; especially: one who endorses or supports without criticism every opinion or proposal of an associate or superior.
Truth is, “Yes-Men” have a biased perspective and they have formed some unhealthy patterns. They will ignore poor behaviors, approve ideas that wouldn’t normally be approved. They agree without hesitation. They give gifts, compliments and insurmountable words of validation. A “Yes-man”, will protect you as his interest and invest as long as they’re getting something out of it. They will keep you from seeing certain truths and allow you to stay bound to the world they’ve customized just for you. Although their words feed you the confidence that you need, as a Christian, you’ll eventually have to ask these two basic questions; If their intentions are true and of God? And, have they become more of a hindrance than a help?
Some people will see nothing wrong with this but for those who understand how detrimental this can be, I would suggest taking a second look at the people in your life, those whom you have deemed as loyal.
Normally, I would refrain from making specific examples but in this case, I feel that it can be helpful:
- One example could be wearing an outfit that is exposing your best assets. You look good, feel good and know that what you have on is going to draw lots of attention. You’ll be the showstopper when you walk into a room. Even though you know you’re revealing too much and have doubts about what you have on, you lean on your “Yes Crowd” to give you the confidence you need to wear your outfit boldly. Yet, if it wasn’t for their “Yes Girl, Get it Girl” and other comments of words of approval, you wouldn’t have worn it otherwise. (It’s always great when their “Yes” comments are well warranted but it can be quite harmful if it leaves you wearing something that totally misrepresents who you are or even draws the wrong attention.)
- Another example could be speaking ill of someone you may or may not know. Bashing them, spreading rumors, finding something negative to say at every turn, polluting your heart and others with lies and half-truths, yet you continue because you have other people saying that it’s ok to speak on everything little thing that comes to mind. Thus, not needing a filter. You know it isn’t right but you do it anyway because you want your point to be made and your feelings to be heard. It can be a slippery slope, especially when you have those around you saying “Yes”, “Amen” and “You’re Right” because your negative behavior is being embraced instead of corrected. Yes, collectively, we should be able to speak what’s on our mind but not at the expense of someone else. We should be able to trust the people around us to let us know when we’re being vengeful, shady or messy. Just because it feels right doesn’t mean it is right. Truth is, many friendships and relationships have been broken because of this. Families have often torn apart because a word of correction never came.
- Another example that could be used is what happened with Fergie during the NBA 2018 All-Star Game. She ended up singing the National Anthem and presented her own version of this song. As most of us know, it didn’t go as well as she had hoped and her performance wasn’t well received. Unfortunately, she had to bear the brunt of harsh comments as a result. As I thought about this particular incident, there should’ve been someone, anyone in her group that could advise her and protect her from going too far out of the box. She’s a creative and talented individual who uses her gift to express but the ones around her should’ve covered her by just saying “No” or maybe “Not at this time.” Not to restrict her creativity or cause her to have fear of doing something different and unique but to anticipate the backlash that could possibly come from experimenting with a song that is well known for its melody and notes. Nothing is wrong with taking risks but count the cost and use wisdom.
All of these previous examples were not intended to be cutting in any way but to highlight the importance of having sober-minded people around you who understand how to use constructive criticism to help you achieve greatness. No one should be used to enable bad behavior and we are the ones that should determine how much power we give those in our lives.
Proverbs 11:14 AMPC states “Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” This scripture is awesome when you are surrounded by wise and godly men and women, who will advise you and lead you unto safe ground but this scripture will also reveal those in your life who may very well be unequipped to help you see where you have weak, distorted and vulnerable areas.
Truth-tellers are often the ones people run away from because in all actuality “Who really wants to be corrected? It can be hard to accept them, especially when they’re constantly telling you that there’s something that needs to be changed. Their position is not to tear you down but to motivate you to see a clearer perspective, one that you may have lost or become blind to. Jesus was a truth-teller, who had the wisdom to know when to speak and when not to. For those who sought after the truth, they were soon able to find it but for those who didn’t have ears to hear and eyes to see, they were left in the dark.
Faithful advisors, mentors, and counselors will build and not destroy. They will promote without taking anything away. They will tell you when you’re wrong and praise you when you’re right. They will help you work through the rough patches and provide you with information that is imperative to your growth and well-being, instead of leaving you left to be unprotected. They won’t blanket you with lies and deception. They won’t set you up for failure or place you in a compromising position. They will have your back in a way you might not like or even enjoy but at least they won’t lead you down a path where trouble can be found.
Deciding to reevaluate the roles of people in your life is a hard thing to do because you might have to distance yourself from some of them and shake loose those who aren’t good for you. Not because they’re expendable but because it’s necessary. Make the decision to have well-balanced relationships, where those who love you, love you enough to tell you the truth at all times. Yes, it might hurt to hear what they’ve got to say but if they’re really in your corner, you’ll be able to understand that their words are there to empower you and not to insult or inflict harm.
Be mindful of the quality relationships that you keep and let God’s truth be your guide.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and God Bless!!
6 Replies to “Keeping “Yes-Men” At A Distance”
Amen!!!! Amen!!!! And Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Argelia, God Bless!!
Thanks soo much for this honest blog. My prayer group at my school are older women and they’re so brutally honest with me that I sometimes cry. But I praise God for them because I tryly grow from it.
It’s great that you have people around you that have helped you grow in various areas of your life. Sometimes the truth can hurt, and often times, most people don’t know how or when to deliver it. They just know it has to be said, but it always helps to do it in a less aggressive way lol. Hopefully a balance can be found! Until then, we just have to know their hearts and intentions. Be Blessed!
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend (who corrects out of love and concern), But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (because they serve his hidden agenda)” What a powerful scripture! Praying for more people to enter my circle that will correct out of love instead of say yes out of comfort or convenience! (also prayerful that I won’t get offended when they do!)
Even though you may get offended it won’t last always because the truth will still remain, that you’re covered and loved enough to be corrected by those who are your friends, family, mentors especially by God (He corrects the ones He loves. Though it might hurt from time to time it’s always spoken in a way that brings a great level of understanding of why it’s being said. Which will humble you, lift you and bless you as you grow in relationship with Him and others.)
Allow yourself to flourish in God by knowing His truth.