The Art of Saying NO!
Pastor B.J. Knefley
Have trouble saying no? I do. In fact, I’ve met many that do. Why is that? What is it about saying no do we have so much trouble? Do we want to be liked and afraid that if we say no that we won’t be? Are we trying to make everyone happy? That solution won’t get you very far. In fact, doing that will probably make you very unhappy. So why do we do it?
I was recently asked to commit to an event that was several months into the future. Do I say yes and lock myself into dates that I might find myself in conflict with family obligations or do I say no and just be done with it? Trust me, it wasn’t an easy decision. I sought out the counsel of several people and I still didn’t feel comfortable with either a yes or no. What was my struggle? What was my real issue. Saying yes was the easy part, but did I want to say yes? One friend asked the question is it good, better, or best? Hmmm, how would I answer that? Was it good? Yes, it was good but was it better or best. When asking these questions considering my life and future, it took on a different meaning. I couldn’t say that saying yes was going to be better or best and I realized I wasn’t interested in settling for just good.
One of the issues that I personally contend with is that saying no might cause disappointment in another person and I’m one who wants people to be happy. Letting someone down, causing inconvenience, added stress and work, isn’t something I want to do. So, what happens to me or the person that’s struggling with saying no? We take on the responsibility of others that costs us in ways that affect us emotionally and physically. And who caused all of this? We only have ourselves to blame.
I’ve realized over the years that stress is when my mouth is saying, “Sure I’d love to” while my heart is screaming, “NO”. Taking the time for my heart and mouth to get synchronized is the problem but nevertheless needs to be accomplished if you’re truly going to take care of yourself. Afterall, saying no is not a sin. Think about it.