I hate saying no to people. I do it often, but it is not something that comes easily to me. I play like I don’t care, but I do. I care about people. I care about the stories I hear, and I want to do what I can to make people’s stories better.
But there is something else. I say yes a lot because I am afraid of saying no. I almost feel like saying no to someone will create friction. Like the asker will stop liking me because I am limited in time, resources, or desire. This fear is not a good reason to say yes. When you say yes to people out of fear, your own insecurity begins to bully you into a life that you don’t control. You are allowing every person with need to dictate and drive your life.
I am learning to say no more. Because when I say no to a boys night, I am saying yes to some chill time with my wife. When I say no to more ministry, I am saying yes to a dinner table with my children. When I say no to a concert that will cost me $100, I am saying yes to the dentist. I am still learning how to say no to the good in order to say yes to the better.
Now, I do say yes sometimes. But I don’t want to say yes out of fear. I don’t want to say yes cause I got bullied into it. I want to say yes because it is good. I want to say yes because it lines up with what God has called me to do. I want to say yes because of love and joy and beauty. And II want to say yes because of responsibility.
This is not some big announcement. Rather, I am just reminding myself of the preciousness of time, the finiteness of energy, and the aloofness of money. It is a new year, and am looking at my life once again to see what I am saying yes and no to. I have already canceled three entertainment bills (goodbye Hulu, Flint Journal, and NFL Network). I am looking at days and nights and travel and debt and asking good questions. Hard, but good.
So, happy new year everyone. Hope you live it well.