Telling people no… This is harder than it sounds, isn’t it? Our society is becoming more frenetic every day. Because the internet has connected all humanity for the first time in history, there is always another email, another call, another project, another family function, another task, another chore, another ministry to lead, another business opportunity, another cause to champion, another post to like, another blog to read and post on.
All of us have a calling. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” If we take the bible seriously, we must understand that if we have committed our lives to the following of Jesus, we have a calling on our lives.
Unfortunately, we all have limits.
Each of us has only so many resources to marshal; only so much capacity. We only have so much physical, mental, emotional, relational, vocational, and spiritual bandwidth. The day you realize that you cannot do everything and that you are not supposed to is a very freeing day indeed.
This takes knowing who you are and what your purpose is. If you do not know what you stand for, you will fall for anything. If you do not know what you are called to, you will say yes to anything.
Every commitment comes with a price.
If we are committed to too many things, we can red-line and burn out. Grow weak. Eventually, crash and burn. The fallout is our families and our relationships, our finances, and our health. We honor nothing when we commit to everything because we don’t give anything the attention it deserves.
Wisdom says, “God has made me with certain strengths and gifts, and strategically placed me as a city on a hill, to shine a light to all around me in ways only I can do. Therefore I must do what only I can do.” I admit; these murky waters of life priority are not easy to navigate. There is one easy answer.
Put God first.
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek First the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” By consciously choosing and committing to put God as the highest priority, at the top of the priority list, everything else in life will naturally fall into their proper place. By the way, a good way to test your commitments is to see how much time you spend on it.
Indeed, wisdom, learning, wise counsel, and accountability are all excellent tools to keep one life on track, but if our Heavenly Father is not seated on the throne of your heart, those things will fail you. Learn to say no. Being over-committed ensures you will be a poor steward of God’s calling. Be willing to say no to people so you can say yes to God. Own your calling. Live it out.