Learning to say "No"
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."
~ Isaiah 58: 8, 9a
A phrase that I rarely say. I think for any of us telling someone that you "cannot" do something is a sign of weakness, or admitting a weakness.
I have discovered over the years telling someone that you "cannot" do something doesn't mean either of those things, what it does do is set boundaries.
I have known people, including myself, that telling people "yes" all the time can actually cause you to become too stretched. For many of us we want to be able to help others, but sometimes telling someone "no" is actually doing more than saying "yes."
It's not something we really ever talk about.
I guess this is something that comes with age. It was hard at first to say "no," but it sure changed how I would feel about a situation, and sometimes the person. Additionally, I would discover I felt better about myself.
No longer would I get stressed out and begin to "should" on myself. Saying things like, "I should have done this", or "I should have done that."
The same can be said about God. Sometimes God also says no. As much as we talk about the blessings that God provides, sometimes the answer is clearly "no."
In those moments we must learn to live in grace.
In all circumstances, according to scripture, we are to give thanks. In all times, we must remember that the will of God will never lead where God's grace will not sustain. Our lives should reflect the same.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, learning to say "no" is sometimes a difficult lesson for us. Help me to define boundaries that are both healthy and filled with Your blessings. Amen.
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.