I needed to learn to say no sometimes, even to good things, in order to say yes to Jesus.
by Keri Wyatt Kent — Posted on Aug 16, 2013
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28–30 (MSG)
One of the most dangerous words in the English language is the word yes. Many of us grew up learning to try to make people happy—in the name of unselfishness, we took care of everyone except ourselves. We said yes indiscriminately. The word yes seems so nice. And sometimes it is the appropriate response.
We think it is more generous, nicer, even more Christian to say yes. However, every time we say yes to one thing, we have said no to an infinite number of other possibilities. So we have to choose carefully what we say yes and no to.
A few years ago, I had said “yes” too many times. I had speaking engagements three out of four weekends for several months in a row. When I described my travel schedule to people, I actually would tear up in frustration. I needed a rest.
Frederick Buechner writes, “When you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.” So I did. And I realized I was tired and burned out. I needed to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, to say yes sometimes, but also to say no sometimes, even to good things, in order to say yes to Jesus, to keeping company with Him. I began to see that living freely and lightly requires me to say no, so that I can say yes to Jesus.
Faith Step: Reread today’s verses. Which word or phrase resonates with you? Spend some time journaling about how you feel. What is one thing you can say no to, so that you can say yes to Jesus?