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Desperate, the foolish bridesmaids asked of the others, for some of their oil. But the wise replied: “No! There will not be enough for you and for us. . Go yourselves and buy some from the dealers.”

Their action seems almost selfish for Christians who are taught to share and share alike, to turn the other cheek. But sometimes, so as to make for our eternal Protection, we must say no. When the immigrants on the California Trail in the 1840’s reached the worst part of that trail, the Humboldt sink where there was no water for fifty miles, they would encounter wagon trains broken down and people desperate for food and provision, and yet the unwritten law, though difficult, was to keep moving. If you stop to share and help, neither of you will make it.

Yes, there comes a time, where the Christian, in order to secure their identity in Christ, must protect themselves; they must draw in their resources and not spread their wings over others so thinly that they do not survive. The wise bridesmaids said “No.” When did you dear Christian, so as to protect your soul investment, say No, even when it seemed such an honorable and empathetic thing to say yes? It is not always a selfish thing to say no, but rather the best means to which we can retain our spiritual strength and watchfulness for the coming One.

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