|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be smart, be strategic”
Our Bible verse for today: “But the Lord replied to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary …” Luke 10:41 (Amplified Bible)
Our thought for today: “Sometimes you just have to say no”
I was in a conversation the other evening with a young Christian couple who are strong in their faith and enthusiastic about being on-mission with Jesus. They’re faithful in their church attendance, they participate in several small group Bible studies, and they are active in multiple ministry activities. In our conversation the young woman said that they had gotten so busy that they realized they had to cut a few things out, but they had trouble deciding what to cut. With a laugh she asked, “I mean, how to you say no to “Jesus things”?”
It was funny but also true. It is easy to fill our lives up with good things, to the point that the good things are spilling out over the edges of our lives. We then become overwhelmed and worn out. I once wrote an essay about this entitled “Room for the Singing of Angels”. The point of it was that if we aren’t careful, we can fill our lives up to the point that there’s no room left for quietness and relaxation. We have to leave room in our lives so we can hear the singing of angels. If you would like a copy of that essay let me know and I will be happy to send it to you.
How do we say “no” to good things? Well, the fact is that the world is full of good things we could be involved in, but there’s no way any of us can be involved in all of them, or even in a lot of them. Nor does the Lord expect us to. And so, we have to set boundaries. We have to be smart and strategic about what’s enough and what’s too much. One of the best resources I’ve ever come across to help us establish healthy boundaries in all areas of life is the book and workbook series “Boundaries: When to say yes, and how to say no to take control of your life” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I recommend it to you.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “I have too many irons in the fire.” Do you know where that phrase came from? It’s from the days before electric irons when people used to use a “flatiron” to iron clothes. It was like a modern-day iron but in order to heat it you would place it in the fireplace close to the flames. Then, when it was good and hot, you would take it out and use it to iron clothes until it cooled. Typically, a housewife would have multiple irons in the fire so when one cooled, another would be ready. Sometimes she would overestimate how many irons she needed and she would end up with leftover heated irons. Therefore, she had too many irons in the fire.
Many of us today have too many irons in the fire and we need to remove some of them. We do that by setting better boundaries. You don’t have to say yes to everything – not even to “Jesus things”. It’s okay, and good, and necessary, to set good boundaries. Sometimes you just have to say no.
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2 thoughts on “Sometimes you just have to say no”
Hi there Pastor Jim. I would love to have a copy of Room for the Singing of Angels. Thanks for the daily devotionals! Kathy (Melissa) Lanz
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Good morning Kathleen. Thank you. If you will give me your email address I would be happy to send you that essay. God bless.