Richard Evans was the pioneer of the slogan “just say no” as a Social Psychology professor at the University of Houston in the 1970’s. Supported by the National Institutes of Health, this concept was geared at attacking substance abuse inspired by Woodstock that cultivated a generation of sex, drugs and rock and roll. By the 1980’s, first lady Nancy Reagan added premarital sex and violence to this slogan, becoming a champion of the just say no movement.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the first century, one man blazed a new trail, going against the flow like no one ever before or since. Similar to America’s Civil War, Samaritans occupied northern Israel with Judah dwelling in the South. Following captivity by the Assyrians and Babylonians, Samaritans embraced foreign gods as well as intermarrying Gentiles. Subsequently, when Jewish leaders made plans to reunite both kingdoms, the Samaritans did everything in their power to undermine this attempt. Bitterness, hatred and tension carried over for 500 years until Jesus arrived onto the scene.
In John 4, the disciples avoided Samaria like the plague, taking the belt way around town. However, Jesus didn’t let peer pressure ruin God’s will, going against the flow to wait for a Samaritan in need. Despite committing social suicide, Jesus begins a conversation with an adulterous woman at a well. Led by the Holy Spirit, Jesus takes a casual talk into the spiritual realm. Before the day is over, this carpenter leads several individuals to place their trust in God. If you just say no to the world, by going against the flow, who knows how many lives you can alter for eternity? The world is waiting for you, Matthew 9:37, to lead be example. Please share how you’re making a difference.
by Jay Mankus