A couple weeks ago, I was asked to speak to a Sunday School class at a neighboring church with very short notice. Bubbling up in my lungs was the sound of my knee-jerk “Yes”, but luckily, before crossing my lips, I was able to edit it into a “thanks for asking, but I need to look at a future date.”
In the past, it was difficult for me to say “No”. As people, our natural tendency is to ‘go with the flow’ or ‘don’t make waves’…so we become conflict avoiders…some a little, but some a lot.
As Christians, this usually gets amplified…we are called to be ‘peacekeepers’ or ‘peacemakers’. Forgiveness is fundamental to our faith. Jesus teaches us to turn the other cheek, love our enemies, and give our clothes to a thief. Saying “No” seems like a very un-Christian response to someone in need.
As a psychiatrist and former church elder, I have seen so many burnt out Christians who seem to think that more is always better…some who actually believed it un-Christian to say no. Their efforts become scattered and they always seemed to be out of steam. But like that Energizer bunny, they just keep on doing.
Today, before you jump into (or continue) “doing” the Christian thing…saying “yes” and adding more to the plate…spend time with God. Pray that you receive both direction and empowerment consistent with His will. In order to know His will…you gotta spend time in His presence. He has specific plans and purpose for you, so you need to be more purposeful in seeking it with Him. This is not a job or a task, rather a beautiful and peaceful privilege.
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Dear Father God, I know that You designed a path for my life. I pray, Father, that You make known this pathway to me…and that You give me the strength and courage to follow that path. Empower me, Father, and let all see that I am powered my You. Let me not focus my efforts on simply doing more, let me focus on doing what You want and need of me. Help me today, Lord, to do what is within my ability to further Your Kingdom. I pray in the name of the one You sent to forgive, refresh and empower me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
About this time last year I started using Facebook and it took me approximately 4 months to realize I was attracting people from my past that I no longer shared the same views of life with. I got caught up in the fun of hearing from people I haven't seen for almost 20 years and it took me a while to realize why I haven't been in contact with some of these people. I found it very easy to get back into my old patterns with these people I went to school with and to get sucked into a life I turned away from when I moved away on purpose 20 years ago! I did end my FB account because I felt like I was turning away from God. I then started reading my Bible daily every morning before anyone else in the family awoke and it was there I found where my heart was fulfilled and it took me through each day. I have found where I should be and the internet is NOT it!
awesome for you. amazing how saying 'no' to things is so vitally important to our growth in Christ. have a blessed day.