Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~It is OK to Say No~ April 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:59 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

no-newThis goes out to all my fellow over-doers out there…you know who you are!  The word “no” is not in your vocabulary except when applied to yourself.  You say “yes” to every task someone asks of you.

  • You sit on three different boards and offer to chair all special committees.
  • You are the room parent for each of your children.
  • You head up every fundraiser at work, school and church.

This list could seriously go on forever so I will spare you.

However, when your mind, body or soul screams for rest, you give it a resounding no.  I would venture to say, that like myself, your people-pleasing tendencies make you feel riddled with guilt whenever you take time for yourself.

The Lord has dealt with me quite often on this matter and more times than not, His voice sounds eerily similar to my husband’s.

Allow me to share with you some Biblical truths as to why you should occasionally so “no” to everyone else and give yourself a “yes”!

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.”

(Psalm 127:2 NLT)

I am not saying you should walk in to your place of employment today and quit on the spot!  We are responsible for providing for our families.  What I am saying, is that you have to set boundaries.  It was never God’s intention for us to spend every waking hour slaving away for “the man.”  If you are overworked, (and no doubt underpaid), allow yourself time off.  Do not be consumed with worry over where your next meal will come from.  If God provides for all the animals of the earth, do you not think He will do the same for us whom He loves more than every living creature?

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

(Mark 6:31 NIV)

When you are constantly surrounded by other people who “need” something from you, it can be utterly exhausting.  This is especially true for those of us with young children and the many who are caring for aging parents.  You can get so wrapped up in taking care of them, that you deprive yourself of even the most basic needs.  It is good to have a compassionate heart that desires to help your fellow brothers and sisters and provide care for your family, but you must be careful that it is not to the detriment of your own well-being.  Mark out some quiet “you-time” on your calendar and make it a priority.  When the time comes, don’t allow yourself to make lame excuses as to why you cannot keep the appointment.  You wouldn’t dare cancel on anyone else and you are just as important.

“There is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.  So let us do our best to enter that rest.  But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.”

(Hebrews 4:9-11 NLT)

Even God himself took a day off!  What more reason do you and I need?!  Follow in His supreme example and observe the Sabbath.  It is a guarantee that if you continue to work at a break-neck pace, you will fall.  Whereas if you give your mind, body and soul the rest that it craves, you will perform at a higher level on the days you must labor.  Just as physical rest is necessary for your bodies to function properly, spiritual and emotional rest is a must in order to refresh your souls so that you will not become run down in your service to God and others.

One final Scripture to meditate on when you find yourselves saying “no” to your own needs a little too often:

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

(Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Resting in God is more than just sleep; it is a peace that comes from knowing that He has offered to carry our burdens in exchange for His.  It’s the hope of our salvation that renews our strength.  It is in the promise of His return that we can endure the trials of this life and Still. Find. Rest.


11 Responses to “~It is OK to Say No~”

  1. Carl Says:

    How true this is! Why is it that some us feel so guilty to say that little two letter word? Great advice! 🙂

  2. Julia Tomiak Says:

    You’re so right Valerie! Thanks for including verses to combat that people-pleasing voice in my head!

  3. Fantastic. I am still recovering from (my third) burn-out and have just emailed a group I was working with to say ‘Do as I say not as I do!’ in reminding them to say just that: ‘NO’ it helps everyone in the long run, including ourselves and the wider community because we will then have the strength to do our bit. 🙂

    • You are absolutely right! I believe everyone who volunteers at any level is prone to burn-out if they don’t occasionally say ‘no’. Enjoy your sabbatical from your labors & come back refreshed 🙂

  4. Kevin Daniel Says:

    Great post. I’ve so been there. I could’ve used this blog post a couple years ago. Thankfully, I’m on the other side of “no.”

  5. Heidi Viars Says:

    As a recovering “yes person” I am learning that I am not that important … I guess it is teaching me humility … God’s praise is so much better than man’s empty praise … Thanks so much for this post … wonderful!

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