"God doesn't give you more than you can handle!"
"When God closes a door, He opens a window!"
"If you want to make God laugh, show Him your plans!"
There's no shortage of these little Christian sayings. And while I tend to roll my eyes at many of them, cliches are popular for a reason. So if cynics like me can get beyond the cheesiness factor, there's often some truth to absorb. Such is the case with this little gem:
"Say 'no' to the good, so you can say 'yes' to the best".
I know...you kinda wanted to roll your eyes a little bit, right? I mean, it even has a little rhyme built in. BUT -- I believe there is some real wisdom packed into that little Pinterest-ready quote.
As we start off the New Year with big goals and the best intentions, many of us are going to be focusing on what we need to say "no" to. We're all busy, with lots of commitments, responsibilities, and aspirations. And it can be tempting to say yes to too many things, packing our plates high with more than we can handle. So we realize we have to edit, but it's sometimes challenging to know what to cut out. Things that drain me, don't bring value to my life, or are clearly not in line with my goals or God's plan...those things are easy (or easier) to say no to. But what about opportunities, tasks, and activities that I like? Well..I'm learning that just because I can, and may even want to, doesn't mean I should.
I'm a more is more person, and I love the power of yes but if I'm not careful, things start to add up, and I end up with too much of a good thing. Or just too, too many good things. I have to force myself to be selective -- which means slowing down, and listening to God more as I determine what things to pursue, and what to gracefully decline. It can be painful to say no to things I truly love, but it's worth it if it makes room for something I love even more -- or most importantly -- something God has in store for me.
"I must say no to people concerning the vast majority of good things they invite me to, in order to be available to say yes to God concerning that small number of things He has truly called me to." -Randy Alcorn
No is hard for me. It can make me feel stifled, or guilty. But if said thoughtfully and prayerfully, "no" can also bring freedom, and more abundance than I imagined.
What good things do you need to say no to in order to make room for God's best?