I don’t know about you but my relationship with the word “No” has been fragmented for a very long time.
Let me explain.
I’m the kind of person that finds it difficult to say “No”. Many times I feel that if I were to say “No” I would hurt someones feelings, or they wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. So, instead, I say “Yes” to another project, thinking I can fit one more thing into my schedule.
Sooner or later, however, my schedule will get so overloaded, my “SUPER-WOMAN powers” will fail. I know that it may sound silly, but it’s more common than you think?
Two friends of mine recently gave this suggestion to the word “No”, and I feel both are worth mentioning:
My friend and I were having lunch one day at a local pizza joint when she asked me ‘how I was doing?’ Without meaning to bombard her, I preceded to tell her how busy I was, and how many things I needed to get done. To me all of the items on my “to-do” list were valid and all of them equally deserved my full attention.
After I was done my friend looked at me very sternly and said “Stephanie, if you keep this up your going to have a breakdown. You need to learn how to say “NO”. Even Jesus didn’t do everything in a day, what makes you think you should.” WHOA! That certainly burst my bubble!
She preceded to tell me that I needed to focus on the bigger things in life, and just relax. Take life slowly, and one step at a time. She recommended that I look at my schedule and figure out those things I needed to quit, and those things that interested me enough to stay involved in. That way I could have a more balanced schedule.
And that is what my life needed at that moment: BALANCE
In the end, I did quit a few things and my life got a lot simpler.
My other friend got involved in alot of ministries when she joined her church, simply because she did not know what particular ministry God wanted her to be in. However, the more she got involved in the various ministries the more she realized what her calling was and what it was not. In order to please everyone, however, she continued to participate in the various ministries as expected.
Getting more and more miserable, my friend finally had to quit the ministries that she did not feel God was calling her to. And now is happy to serve in the ministries that she absolutely loves.
My friend finally had this to say, and I paraphrase:
‘When I was in all these ministries I knew that I was doing something for the Lord. However, because some of them were not my calling, I was doing the jobs half-heartedly, and I was only taking the position away from someone else’s calling. And that wasn’t right.’
As you go about your day, think about your relationship with the word “NO”.
Is it a healthy relationship?