Just Say Yes? Saying NO to good so we can say YES to great

A couple of weeks ago I received a speaking invitation.

The guy inviting me was excited about sharing my message with his team. He went on…and on…about how inspired they’d be, how much it would help them with some issues they faced.

We discussed his proposal. Small group. No publicity. No chance to sell books or promote Convoy Of Hope. Sounds pretty selfish, doesn’t it?

But I’m really busy right now. New book launch, upcoming ride…seems like a thousand really important things to do and never enough time to get them all done.

I wanted to decline. That’s the popular advice these days, right? We’re admonished to “learn to say NO.”

I’m glad I didn’t say NO. Frankly, I’m ashamed I even considered it.

Certainly there are times to decline. We need to say NO when we’re tempted to meet others’ expectations, to impress someone, or to act from a sense of guilt or obligation. Jesus never did those things; that’s the model.

I try to beware whenever should enters the discussion. I look for a red flag whenever I can’t honestly translate I should into I want to.

But we need to be careful. “Learn to say NO” can become an excuse to act selfishly. My right to say NO can, frankly, be an excuse for laziness.

I want to say YES to opportunities to help, share, and be generous. More than that, I want to be grateful for, and even seek out, such opportunities.

Nobody can do it all, so saying YES to some things means saying NO to others. Jon Swanson (A question to ask God about busyness) suggests making two piles—this-is-from-God stuff and this-is-from-me (or others) stuff. I suspect making the piles is easier than accepting and acting on the resulting priorities.

It’s not that the “from-me” stuff is all bad. It’s not like I have a burning desire to rob banks or anything.

But we have to be willing to say NO to good so we can say YES to great.

I’m not sure the trick is learning to just say NO. I think it might be to seek more chances to say YES…to the right things.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.