Can Saying “No” Be Service?

Photo by sboneham via Flickr


As Christ-followers, each one of us has been called to serve others. How I serve others looks different from how you serve others.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been looking at what service is and how I can improve my service. God has a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes we get in the way by making our own plan of service and asking God to climb on board with it.

God’s given me a big dream. It is to share what He has done in my life with the world. When this dream first materialized, I had my own ideas of how I would make this dream happen. This year God finally got me to sit still long enough to realize my dream will be accomplished His way and not mine. We say God’s way is best, but how many times does our walk match our talk? For myself I can say my walk is starting to get closer to matching my talk, but I have not arrived.

This year God has begun to teach me a few lessons.

First, this dream is His. It does not belong to me. He allows me to be part of it.

Second, God opens the doors. I get to choose to be prepared to walk through the open door.

Third, He will accomplish this dream His way. It will definitely look different from what I think it should.

Fourth, sometimes saying “No” is necessary to be able to say “Yes” When it counts.

So many of us say we don’t like saying “No”, yet every time we say “Yes” we are saying “No” to something else.

For instance:

When I say “Yes” to climbing out of bed and rushing into my day, I am saying “No” to time alone with God.

When I say “Yes” to spending too much time with my friends, I am saying “No” to being plugged in with my husband.

When I say “Yes” to staying up late, I am saying “No” to getting enough sleep so I can have a productive day tomorrow.

When I say “Yes” to helping every person who asks me for help, I am saying “No” to my family and people God would have me help today.

When I say “Yes” to not controlling my schedule, I am saying “No” to getting exercise, eating properly, etc.

I had to admit, I say “No” quite a lot. It’s just easier to say “No” to God, my family, my health, etc. because saying “No” in these cases doesn’t have immediate consequences. Over time, when we say “No” too often to these things it can cause our lives to breakdown and we may lose the opportunity to say “Yes” to what God has for us.

I can’t tell you I have mastered saying “No” when I should, but each day it gets a little easier to say “No” to the wrong things and “Yes” to what God is asking.

What can you say “No” to today, so you can say “Yes” to God? Who in your life will support you in saying “No”, so you can say “Yes” when it counts?

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