Thursday, October 3, 2013

No No No No No!

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Lately, I have been saying “no”. You may think that saying that two letter, one syllable word is not a big deal, but it is. I am a complete people pleaser, and I like to have a busy schedule. These two facts of my personality make telling people “no” really difficult at times. I always felt like telling people “no” when they asked me to do things meant that I was letting them down or that I would miss out on a further opportunity because I had turned down this one. Some people are great at saying “no”. They say “no” forcefully, meekly, thoughtfully, hurtfully, offhandedly, and I am sure they say it in a million other ways as well. However, I have come to the realization that saying “no” is a spiritual discipline in two ways. Please know that I am not talking about telling your kid that “no” he may not have the sugary cereal, or saying “no” to a night out with friends that you don’t like much anyway. I am talking about saying “no” to large commitments, leadership opportunities, and the like. 

First, the way in which you decide to say “no” to important matters is a type of spiritual discipline. When you are asked to do something, it is important to pray, and perhaps seek counsel, about whether your answer should be “yes” or “no”. Do you have time to do whatever you are faced with? Is this the direction that God is leading you? If you prayerfully consider the large “yes” or “no” questions in your life and the response you get is “no”, then say “NO!” If this is a commitment that God does not want you to take on, or that He no longer wants you to be committed to, then saying “yes” will only hurt your overall spiritual (and probably emotional, physical, and social) wellbeing. 

This brings me to the second way that saying “no” is a spiritual discipline. If you say “yes” to everything then you really won’t have time for anything. I know it can be nice to be busy- I am so busy that if I can get 6 hours of sleep at night I mark it as a great achievement. However, I have found that the cost of saying yes and not having any real time is so much greater than a lack of proper sleep and horrifying under eye circles. The cost is your relationship with Jesus. If you over and over say “yes” to the commitments of the world then you may quickly find yourself saying “no” or “I don’t have time” or “I’m too tired” to your commitment to your faith. Our salvation is based on a relationship with our Creator. It is based on a relationship with a God that desperately wants to connect with us. We must connect. We must make time to commit. Saying “no” to something (even if it is just an extra hour of TV or 30 more minutes of sleep) so that you can say “yes” to time with Jesus is a spiritual discipline! Life is distracting, and we are only human. So many things can seem more important, more interesting, or less exhausting than time spent in the Word and in prayer and in fellowship; but, none of them are. If your spiritual health is out of wack then everything else will be as well. 

When the number of things that you say “yes” to impedes your ability to build relationships with other people and, most importantly, with God ,then it is time to say “no” and/or take a step back from some of the things you have already said “yes” to. 

1 comment:

  1. Saying no can be soooo hard...I too am a people pleaser. It sounds like you really have your priorities in order which is way easier said than done. Good for you girl :)


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