The Power of No!
With dread and anxiousness, I picked up the phone and made the call…informing the person on the other end that I was saying “No” to the request that I commit to his project. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time saying “No”. In fact, for me, it’s easier to be that person who says “Yes” to everything because a “No” often leads to feelings of guilt... as if by saying “No” I am betraying or letting someone down. I’m not alone…there are many others who also struggle with saying “No”. Are you one of those people? Before you answer that question, please understand I am mostly speaking about volunteer projects or commitments outside your vocation. As believers, we are all required to do the legitimate work that is assigned within the scope of our employment. What I’m talking about are projects or commitments that are assigned by others. We can easily become weary by doing too much.
Have you committed to so many things that you feel anxious and weighed down? Take time now and ask yourself, “Is the added weight God-appointed or man-appointed?”
In his book, Mastering Monday, John Becket said (pg 171) “the word No may be the most efficient time saver in the English language. No can save us hours of time, return responsibility to its rightful owner and help one focus on right priorities. No can also protect us from our own good heart”.
The Apostle Paul always sought to stay “within the limits of the sphere of influence which God had appointed him” (2 Cor. 10:13). God calls and gives all believers a specific area of responsibility. We can more effectively carry out that responsibility if we stay within those limits. It is when we step outside those limits that life can feel overwhelming. Even Jesus initially said No when Lazarus’s sisters sent for Him at the time Lazarus was sick (John 11). He waited for his Father’s perfect timing before he went. I expect many looked at him with surprise and even questioned his response.
Workplace Challenge: Say "No" more. Before saying yes to a new project or activity, tell the person you need time to pray about it. This will keep you from making an on-the-spot decision you might regret. Seek God’s direction and after much prayer and discernment, “let your Yes be Yes and your No be No” (Matthew 5:37). Make today count for His glory!
The Power of No!