Let’s start with a disclaimer: We firmly believe in helping others. As Christians, we are called to leave our comfort zones and do things we might not feel like doing. That’s a big part of what being a Christian is all about. However, saying “yes” to everything we are asked to do is not healthy or practical. Sometimes people are just trying to take advantage of us and guilt us into helping them, other times a genuinely well-meaning individual might be asking us to do something that is good in and of itself, but doing so would negatively impact something important.
Saying no often means saying yes to something else, and vice versa. If you say yes to the nth request of the week, then you very likely are saying no to time with your family and with God. Saying no sometimes allows you to say yes to your marriage, your relationship with God, your mental health, etc.
If you need more convincing that it is alright to say no, take a look at Jesus. Luke 5:15-16 says “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 (NIV).” That’s right, Jesus himself said no to people wanting to be healed, an arguably important and noble thing to help with, and often took time for Himself to rest and refresh His relationship with His Father.
So how do we say no? If you are a people pleaser and/or already established as someone who says yes to everything, it can be hard to start standing up for yourself and saying no. Never fear, today on The Morning Thing we shared 10 tips from The Positivity Blog on how to say no. You can find them all HERE.
Lastly, we want to reiterate that sometimes we do need to say yes, even if we are hoping to rest. Let’s take a look at another example from Jesus. In Mark 6, the apostles return from the service work they had been sent on by Jesus. He knows they need rest so He tells them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (v. 31, NIV).” However, the crowds spot them, take a shortcut, and are waiting when they arrive on the opposite shore. “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things (v.34, NIV).” In this instance Jesus forgoes rest for Himself and His disciples because the people were lost and on their own in a fashion. Sometimes people ask for help with something that is genuinely a good thing, but they’ll really be okay if you specifically aren’t helping them. The world will go on and you can say no. Other times, someone will be lost and genuinely need help and will not get by without you. In those times, say yes, make the sacrifice, and help them. And always, always, pray for God to grant you wisdom and discernment to know when to make the sacrifices and when to take care of your mental health.
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