I am often pulled in what feels like a thousand different directions and most of it is my doing! I’m a bit of a thinker/dreamer/call-to-action person and imagine doing things, big things-small things-lots of things, to serve the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven. Which leaves me with about 100 new ministry ideas every day. And that’s just on my commute to work
I have recognized that when I see a need, I think I’m the one that is supposed to respond. When my heart is moved, I’m supposed to act.
“If I don’t respond, then who will?”
“I have time to do that!”
“That person has a need, I must help”.
And you know what? That’s called “The Savior Complex”. And I’m not the Savior, Jesus is.
I have learned that if I say, “yes” to everything, then I’m not really discerning the LORD’s voice in my life, I’m just responding. Saying yes to everything leaves me exhausted, saying yes to Christ & His work for me leaves me fulfilled.
I realized that in order to say yes to what Christ has for me, I have to learn to also say no, because wise people know when to say “no”.
I have learned from some very wise people who use this word no, and they have discipled me by doing so.
Saying yes to everything leaves me exhausted,
saying yes to Christ & His work for me
leaves me fulfilled.
My friend, let’s call her Barbara. She is one of those people so gifted with wisdom and encouragement, that nearly everyone wants time with her. She loves to pour into women, meet with them, love them, process life with them, etc. So when it came time this past fall to participate in a big gathering with women from our church, I watched her wrestle. I watched her ache to be with the women, to spend time in God’s word together, to gather in Spirit and Truth, and I watched her say no. She wanted to say yes, but realizing the season of life, with 3 littles under foot and other stuff pulling for her attention, she said no. No to being with 100 women, to be present at home.
And I learned from her.
Another friend I have, let’s call her Sandra. She is a woman of influence, a disciple of Christ, and a servant of the Most High God. She worked full-time for the church and recently stepped down to care for her 91 year old Grandpa in her home. In a day in age when women are fighting for a seat at the table, she gladly gave up hers to go love and serve her Grandpa. She said no to a “position” at the church to take her position at the feet of Jesus.
And I learned from her.
These wise women taught me that sometimes you have to say no to good things, to say yes to better things.
And it reminds of our LORD. Jesus could’ve said yes to so much more, but He didn’t. He could’ve lived on this Earth longer than 33 years, but He didn’t. He could’ve traveled to more towns, healed more people, taught more sermons, but He didn’t.
He did what the Father had for Him. He recognized when it was His time and when it wasn’t. He recognized when to minister and when to go away to pray. He was the best at using this word “no” because He knew the voice of Father so intimately and knew the calling of “yes”.
I learn from these wise women because I need to be better at saying no. I need to remind myself that the gospel of grace invites me into a life of a burden that is easy, and a yoke that is light. Not a life of weight, guilt, busyness, and exhaustion.
Sometimes you have to say no to good things,
to say yes to better things.
Do you need to be better at using this word?
What are things you need to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to Christ?
Are you in a season where you need to slow down?
Are you in a ministry outside of your giftings?
Are you only saying yes to seek approval of others?
Then maybe, like me, it’s time to get better at saying no.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
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