Thursday, October 30, 2014

Biweekly Bits #20: Sometimes, you have to say no

After writing 26 bits, I realized that there is so much I could elaborate on with each of my bits. So I decided to turn them into a biweekly (i.e. fortnightly) series, for the next year.

Sometimes, you have to say no. My mother always used to tell me when I was younger that I didn't know how to say no. As a consequence, I was always too busy, and my time was over-committed, so much so that I'd catch a cold and be sick for weeks because I didn't have time to get better. But gradually, I've learned to say no (or at least, "not right now"), because I don't have time to do all these things and do them well. (See also #10).

The Christian walk, in addition to being a relationship with Christ and a religious practice is a call to serve others. Thus, as Christians, Christian women in particular, we often feel like we can never say no to others who need our help, and we end up over-extending ourselves. (Anybody else feel that way?)

However, we forget that while Christ calls us to take up our cross, and to go into all the world, and to love others as He has loved us, he has also called us to find rest in Him. Yes, my friend, there is a place in Christ for his followers to take rest. And in order to rest, sometimes, you need to say no to all of the various things that pull us in seventeen different directions simultaneously.

Saying no doesn't mean that you aren't committed to your ministry, and it doesn't mean that you are not committed to Jesus. To take time to rest does not mean that you are failing in your walk with God. Instead saying no means that you recognize your limits as a person, and the necessity of taking rest in Jesus, and taking time to spend in solitude with Him, and/or to take proper care of the body that God has given to you. Just like we rest a part of our physical bodies that have been working constantly, as part of the body of Christ, we also need to feel free to take time to rest and recharge.

Sometimes you have no. Because you don't have the time, or you don't have the energy, or you don't have the expertise. Maybe the timing is just all wrong. And that's okay. Don't let having to say no to someone make you feel like you've done something wrong, even if they try to make you feel guilty about it. Pray for the grace and the discernment to know when (and how) to say no, because sometimes, you have to. Remember that even Jesus withdrew from the crowds at times to rest and recharge.

Do you have instances where you've had to say no? Share them in the comments below, if you would like to!

Be blessed and say no sometimes!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23