No.

No.

        It’s a powerful little word.  It’s a perfectly acceptable answer—requiring no explanation or excuse. And, used properly, it will change your life and give you freedom to say yes to the right things. But, so few people want to say it.  Instead of  saying it, we try to straddle the fence with “maybe” “perhaps” or “let me think about it.”  Life tip: if you ask someone a question, and they give you these answers, they are really telling you no, but without having the kindness or the courage to simply say no.

        Some parents don’t tell their children no.  So, their kids have too little discipline and too much stuff in their lives.  From toys to schedules, their lives (and hearts) are cluttered with things that don’t matter.  And because parents won’t use it, children don’t learn it.  They follow their parents example and allow their lives to become filled with the agendas of other people.  The result is a generation who naturally feels entitled because they have never been told no.

Contrary to popular self-help gurus, you cannot have everything and do everything.  Try to and you will simply drown in opportunity.  Look around and you’ll quickly see a world of people who are busy with everything but never accomplish much of anything. Moreover, saying yes to everything is not a Christian virtue at all.  Besides sin itself, this likely does more to undermine your walk with God than any one thing. 

You are a finite person.  And you live in a finite world.  You have limited time, money, attention, ability, and resources.  So, you must decide what is important.  You make a choice based upon your values.  Which matters more?  Church or basketball.  School work or play practice.  Quiet time or screen time.  Bible reading or Facebook.  Your values are always reflected in these choices. 

I imagine that one of the biggest challenges Jesus faced in His incarnation was moving from being infinite to being finite.  When he became flesh and dwelt among us, he became like us.  The unlimited God put limitations on Himself.  He became a person with limited hours in the day, a limited amount of energy and a limited ability to travel.  And so, many times Jesus had to say no, perhaps even appearing rude, because he was, in fact, a man on a mission.  The only things he would say yes to were the things God wanted him to do.  With 33 years, he had very little time.  “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

If you are a disciple of Jesus, then you have the same choice to make.  And that means saying no to a whole lot of good things so that you may say yes to only the best things.  “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

Say yes to the best and no to the rest!