The Right Way To Say No

Here is a ten thousand-dollar time management seminar in two letters. NO. That ability to say no. You remember the anti-drug motto, “Just say No.” A lot of us are addicted to speed. Not the drug, the lifestyle. We’re addicted to the adrenaline it produces. We’re addicted to the lifestyle of going faster and faster and how important it makes us feel. We have to learn in our lives to just say no. It’s difficult for many of us to say no to others, to the requests that they bring. Many, many of us have great difficulty with that. The number one reason our lives get overloaded is we just say “Yes” too many times to too many people, people that we love, to too many things that are important. But soon, once again our schedules are overburdened. We’re living this verse in Proverbs 20:25 “A impulsive vow is a trap. Later you wish you could get out of it.” Ever have that one? “Why did I say yes to that? Why am I doing this? Why am I caught up in this?” Don’t promise without pondering. Don’t decide without deliberating. Carefully and prayerfully make your commitments.

It’s always easier to get in than it is to get out. It’s always easier to get into debt than it is to get out of debt. It is always easier to get into a relationship than to get out of a relationship. It’s always easier to get into trouble than to get out of trouble. It’s always easier to gain weight…. let’s not talk about that! It’s always easier to fill up your schedule than it is to empty your schedule. So we all have to decide, “Just because I could do it doesn’t mean I should do it.” Just because I could do that doesn’t mean I should do that. There are times when I have to just say no.

Dave Ramsey author of “Total Money Makeover” is one of my favorite motivational speakers. Dave nails this subject on the head. One of his teachings is to learn to say no to our desires now, so we can say yes to some of them in the future. Money or more specifically, what money buys, is an area where we have an especially hard time to say no to. It is easy to go where you shouldn’t go, so don’t go there!

One of the reasons we have a difficult time saying no is we don’t admit to ourselves that we have limits. We think we can just keep adding things to our lives. The truth is our lives are already full. If you’re going to add anything else to your life, something’s going to have to go. You’re going to have to say no to something somewhere.

Do you ever walk in the grocery store and you walk by the baskets saying, “I don’t need one of those,” and walk on it to shop. Pretty soon your arms are full with things and you’re trying to put one more thing on top of something else. It’s the parable of our lives. We’re trying to make it through. We’re limited. We can’t get another basket. We’ve got limits. There’s only so much we can carry so you’re going to pick something else up you’re going to have to set something else down. Our lives are filled with good things. I’m not talking about setting down bad things. Good things are going to have to be said “no” to in order to slow down in life.

I’d guess that every one of us at one time or another have made a “To Do” list. How many of you have made a “Don’t Do” list? Don’t do this and don’t do that… or maybe better yet a “What Matters Most” list. How often does “give my kids a hug today” show up in your To Do list? That may be the most important thing to do that day. But it doesn’t show up on the list. When we’re faced with a choice, an activity, the question we have to ask ourselves is “Is it worth it?” If I’m going to do this, is it worth it? Is it worth my time? Is it worth my energy? Is it worth my life?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.