But above all, my brothers, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.
~ James 5:12 ~
I have been attempting to get my prayer and study life back in order after the chaos of last year. You know, there are just times when I struggle with both, feeling that I am wandering in the desert, but none the less, God beckons me to his side time and time again!!
In the Bible study I am attending on Wednesday evenings, I am reading Danny Silk’s book titled “Keep Your Love Light On”. I have just finished the first chapter and am already convicted! Thus far we are discussing the difference between powerless and powerful people–not as the world defines power, but as scripture defines power–and how both dynamics impact relationships we are in.
We were discussing the attributes of both types of people, but the powerful one resonated with me. The powerful person is one who chooses to manage and take responsibility for his or her life. A powerful person does not blame others, or play a victim role, in life. A powerful person chooses to love unconditionally, for his or her love does not hinge on that love being returned, or on what the other person says or does. The powerful person creates a safe place to know others and for others to know him or her. The final thought that struck home with me tonight was that powerful people choose yes or no. There is no I’ll try, I have to, or I can’t. There is either YES or NO. Simple right?!? Aha, but there must be a balance, therefore it is not always so simple–or so I thought until tonight (had one of those aha moments!)
I tend to be a “YES” person in life for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I like to help people. I like to be around others, lifting them up, encouraging them, and helping them in a myriad of ways, from moving to playing to counseling to just listening. However, saying yes all the time is not always internally felt. There are times I am tired, have other obligations, or just don’t feel like being there, but somehow, I still say YES. In James 5:12, we are told “…let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no…” If I say YES, but my heart or mind or body is screaming NO, then I am not in sync with what God is calling me to do. I become a walking contradiction!
So the epiphany for me tonight (and please don’t laugh)! I actually have to say NO sometimes. A powerful person is able to choose to say no because he or she needs time to rest, meditate, and enjoy life. When I say YES to everyone, I find myself stretched thin and of little help to anyone…including myself! When I say YES to everything, I don’t have the much-needed time to spend with God, learning and growing in my knowledge, understanding, and relationship with Him and His Word. When I say YES to everybody, I have to admit, I become bitter or resentful because sometimes I just want to say NO, but I don’t. When I say YES to everyone, I end up drained and empty.
I am just now really learning to say NO because I cannot be everywhere, with everyone, at every moment. It just isn’t possible. So, as I practice becoming and building the skills necessary to be a powerful person as scripture defines, I have some choices to make:
1. Quality time over quantity of time!!
2. Meaningful and deep relations with others over empty and shallow ones!
3. Lingering, intimate time with God over rushed moments here and there!
Ah, so much to learn and so far to go on this journey to becoming Christ like, and so very excited to see where God leads me!
Praying that you too will be true to your heart, to the calling of God, and to building a deeper, more intimate, stronger relationship with God. Take time each day to devote to Him, saying NO to the things that interfere. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Let the Lord reveal the things in life you need to let go of, the things you need to say NO to, and let Him lead you to the things you need to say YES to. All my love and may your week be blessed to overflowing <3