Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 22: Just Say No

entire series listed here
I must admit that I do see the irony in the fact that yesterday's post was about volunteering and today's post is about saying no.

But, actually, volunteering and saying no are not mutually exclusive actions. You have to learn to say no, in order to be able to say yes. 

Saying no to the good and better in order to say yes to the best.

No to what others think you should do in order to say yes to what God wants you to do.

Saying no is hard. Especially when you must say no to people you love and respect. It is hard to say no to good things. But, saying no is a must in order to preserve your sanity and to keep your time free for what God wants you to do.

None of us can do everything we are asked to do. There isn't time or energy. Just because someone is asking you to do something does not mean it is what God wants you to do.

But, there is always the necessary time and energy and resources to do everything God wants you to do. It is called unbounded grace and enabling.

Which is why we must always be in prayer about the activities of our day to day lives. I often pray for God to order my day how He wants it. And, I pray about opportunities and activities that cross my path-do you want me to do this, Lord?

I also find it helpful to ask...“Is this going to take time and effort away from my most important priorities?” and "where is the time to do this going to come from?" Because there always is a give and take. A yes for one thing means a corresponding no for something else. Always.

Last spring was a season of saying no for our family. I have alluded to that on this blog before. We stepped out of many ministry and church responsibilities. And we got flack for it. But, saying no allowed us to rest and be renewed. It allowed God to refocus our ministries and lives. We are doing things now that we wouldn't have had time to do if we had kept on in the old.

When saying no (or yes) say it confidently and respectfully and graciously. Then let your yes be yes and your no be no. Don't second guess yourself. Don't stumble over guilt trips-your own or someone else's. Guilt is a bad motivator. Have a reputation for integrity, cheerfulness and faithfulness. You may say no, but also, when you say yes, you keep your word and don't waffle out at the last minute.

like most 2 year olds, Meres is really good at saying no. Confidently. Unapologetically.

One more point...sometimes we have to say no to others-which is hard. Sometimes we must say no to ourselves-which is infinitely harder. Often we lay burdens on ourselves that we are not meant to bear. we hold ourselves hostage to our own expectations.

Where must you say no in order to say yes?