The other day I said ‘No’ to a good thing. And it felt GREAT.
A really fun trip had been planned. As soon as the date was announced I knew it would be rough for me to go. It was happening on the one day when I would actually have a few hours to rest and relax after taking care of my responsibilities for that day. Those precious few hours had been hard to come by and it would be very difficult to get them back.
I desperately needed some ‘me’ time.
So when the trip organiser asked if me if I was going, I told her ‘No’. She graciously and persistently tried to persuade me to go. I almost caved, but I told her that I really was unavailable for that trip.
On the day of the trip, I took care of my responsibilities, then I spent a few hours resting, recuperating and reflecting. It had been just one of many weeks of an endless grind of work, church, home, meetings, and very little rest. I decided that I was GLAD I said ‘no’ to the trip. Because I emerged from those few hours more rested, more refreshed, and with more to give to my areas of responsibility in the coming days.
This episode reinforced a powerful lesson for me.
Every time I say ‘Yes’ to one thing, I’m saying ‘No’ to something else. And whenever I say ‘No’ to something, I’m saying ‘Yes’ to something else.
So I need to be intentional with my ‘Yes’ and my ‘No’.
There are days when I need to give of myself sacrificially. And there are those days when I need to take the time to say ‘Yes’ to me. Because if I never say ‘Yes’ to what I need, I won’t have very much of me left to give to family, work, ministry, community.
So yes. There are days when saying ‘No’ to a good, thing, is a really good thing.
Is there anything good you need to say ‘No’ to, so you can give your wholehearted ‘Yes’ to something else that’s better?
Perspective from the Bible
Jesus always had compassion for the people. But even He said ‘No’ from time to time, so that He could spend alone time with God, His Father. Read it here:
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Yet the news about him spread all the more so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.