Saying “No” is easier for some of us than others. However, when we learn how to use this word, it probably means that we are growing in our emotional and mental health, and learning how to set boundaries. Saying “No” doesn’t translate over to being mean to others. As a matter of fact, the inability to say “no” is being unkind to ourselves. We end up running ourselves ragged pleasing everyone else, and then we are joyless ourselves.
We forget that we do not have never-ending amounts of energy. What we don’t say “NO” to today, will say “NO” to us on tomorrow. This is usually when we start saying “No!” It is when God gives us a time-out. Either we can willingly learn the skill, or we are forced to learn it because our physical health ends up taking a plunge.
When we are able to say “No” to some things, we open ourselves up to being able to say “Yes” to others. These are the things that we have been gifted for. These are the things that involve our spouses, life-giving friends, and children. It also invites our “NO” to become someone else’s opportunity to step up and say “yes”. So, then why is it so hard? It is hard because we have been trained to help others by completely sacrificing ourselves in the process. Helping others requires the sacrifice of dying to ourselves. Sometimes we can get too caught up in our own problems and our family’s problems. We forget that there is a whole ‘nother world outside of us.
However, there is a balance. This is where self-awareness and realization of our limitations come in. It is also hard for us to say “No” if we grew up in a family where we were served guilt for exerting boundaries or having feelings of our own. Initially, it will be difficult. However, the more we practice saying it, the more we are free to prioritize what God wants us to do.
So, let’s practice saying “No”, so that God can say “Yes!” to using us as only he can!
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