Learning to Say No
So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.
We should remove from our lives anything that would get in
the way and the sin that so easily holds us back.
Hebrews 12:1 NCV
Face facts: If you haven’t yet learned to say “No” —to say it politely, firmly, and often—you’re inviting untold stress into your life. Why? Because if you can’t say “No” (when appropriate) to family members, friends, or coworkers, you’ll find yourself overcommitted and underappreciated.
If you have trouble standing up for yourself, perhaps you’re afraid that you’ll be rejected. But here’s a tip: don’t worry too much about rejection, especially when you’re rejected for doing the right thing.
Pleasing other people is a good thing . . . up to a point. But you must never allow your “willingness to please” to interfere with your own good judgment or with God’s priorities.
God gave you a conscience for a reason: to inform you about the things you need to do as well as the things you don’t need to do. It’s up to you to follow your conscience wherever it may lead, even if it means making unpopular decisions. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to be popular with God, not people.
Some of us would do more for the Lord if we did less.
Many people never receive God’s best for them because they are addicted to the approval of others.
When we are set free from the bondage of pleasing others, when we are free from currying others’ favor and others’ approval—then no one will be able to make us miserable or dissatisfied. And then, if we know we have pleased God, contentment will be our consolation.
Don’t be addicted to approval. Follow your heart. Do what you believe God is telling you to do, and stand firm in Him and Him alone.
Dear Lord, when I need to say no, give me the courage, the wisdom, and the strength to say it. Today and every day, help me follow my conscience, not the crowd. Amen