“Just say a simple…no.” Jas 5:12 NLT

When you don’t learn to say no, you end up disliking yourself, as well as the people you are trying to please. In some cases we have difficulty saying no because we’re afraid people won’t like us. In other cases we believe that to be “a good Christian” we must always say yes. Jesus said, “Let…your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin” (v. 12 AMP). Only when you have the courage to say no will you mature, be able to address your own unmet needs, and start respecting yourself. And in time, others will too. So do these three things: (1) Think before you respond. If you need to, say, “Can I get back to you?” Don’t make commitments without consulting God, your calendar, and your family. “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (Jas 1:5 NLT). (2) When your plate’s full, say so. Responding to so-called emergencies caused by somebody else’s poor planning and sloppy habits won’t do either of you any good. Limit what you say yes to, then stick with it. Don’t take on more because you feel pressured, guilty or indispensible. You’ll discover that you’re only indispensible until you say no—or die! (3) Go with your gifts. God has given each of us unique talents. If you’ve to choose between singing in the choir or sitting on the finance committee, go where your talents will be best utilized. Is this always easy? No, but unless you learn to do it you’ll end up investing too much time and energy in what seems urgent, and neglect what’s important.