No = Yes

Life is filled with making decisions. In the end, decisions are a choice between “yes” and “no.” We could add “maybe” or “wait”–which is really “no” for right now, but perhaps “yes” in the future.” So it’s down to “yes” or “no.” In making decisions in life, relationships, marriage, parenting, ministry, time, etc., I have found that “no” is the best friend to “yes.” Here’s why: when I can say “no” to one thing, it means that I have the opportunity and ability to now say “yes” to another thing. Gordon Smith in his The Voice of Jesus says that good is often the enemy of the best. We settle for what is good and either stop looking or are now unavailable to say “yes” to the best. In life, we have to learn to say “no.” It means that we’ll disappoint people and pass up on opportunities that some might say we’re a fool to say “no” to.

  • Learn to say “no” to a margin-less schedule so you can say “yes” to things that really matter
  • Learn to say “no” to a good job offer so you can say “yes” to the best job
  • Learn to say “no” to people who constantly drain your tank so you can say “yes” to people who fill your tank
  • Learn to say “no” to earthly pleasures so you can say “yes” to heavenly treasures
  • Learn to say “no” to plans and programs that move the focus off of what you have said “yes” to in vision and strategy
  • Learn to say “no” to unhealthy relationships so that you can say “yes” in healthy relationships
  • Learn to say “no” to financial decisions that don’t allow you to say “yes” to using your resources for Kingdom work

Learning to say “no” is a discipline. If you don’t learn how to say “no,” you’ll never be able to say “yes.” What would you add to the “no” and “yes” list?

4 Replies to “No = Yes”

  1. well said, ja. “no” has become my favorite word over the past few years. unfortunately, in the church we don’t often feel the freedom to say “no” without incurring guilt or questioning glances. thanks for the reminder to pursue God’s best in a spirit of freedom and grace!

  2. Well said. It’s so easy to miss out on “life to the fullest” when we fill our lives with things that make us busy but not whole. If we could only get a glimpse of the dreams God dreams for us, oh how we would restructure our time!

  3. love the list. it reminds you want to say, ‘yes’ to. people seem to say yes to the wrong things because they’ve never experienced God’s best. i’d add:

    say ‘no’ to small-groups that aren’t building Christ-centered relationships that last.

    say ‘yes’ to being faithful to your small group. no one can be more faithful than you.

  4. This is refreshing Jonathan. Not many Sr. Pastors would encourage their congregation to say no. I’ve “been there and done that” with saying yes to everything and it just left me burned out. What a joy it is to say yes to God and to His mission for my life and ministry. He fills me up to be poured out and I never run on empty when I’m running with Him.

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