Yesterday’s post discussed the tremendous impact saying “yes” to the wrong things has on our lives. Today’s is exciting because we’re taking action to learn the fine art of saying a polite “no.” We’ll even practice in our prayer journals, and we all know, practice makes perfect!
Saying no is a skill anyone can learn. Once you master it, you can even refuse without ever saying the that little monosyllabic word. You don’t have to explain yourself away for 20 minutes or justify your reasoning, either. A quick sentence, followed by wishing them luck in their endeavors should suffice.
Joe Schmoe: Hey! Would you like to serve on the board of the Save the Tadpoles Association? We think you’d be perfect for the role! We meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
You: Thanks for thinking of me, but my daughter has dance those nights. I’m sure you’ll find someone great.
Jim Schmim: The Mosquito Breeders Foundation is having a fundraiser. Would you like to donate $100?
You: Thank you, but we already donate to Food for the Hungry. Good luck with your efforts!
If you want more inspiration on how to craft an elegant refusal, Christy Wright from Business Boutique taught me everything I know. She has a fabulous resource you can download called 25 Ways to Protect Your Time.
Overflowing Jesus Journal: Day 26
The way you use “No” sets the course for your life and allows you to say yes to what matters. Wield your no wisely and well. Now, let’s practice!
Read the following verses and let them sink into your soul:
Ecclesiastes 5:5 NIV – It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.
Proverbs 20:25 NIV – It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.
Proverbs 2:6-8 NIV – For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
When you’re ready, say a prayer, asking God to reveal his wisdom to you through your writing, and then journal your answers to the following as a prayer:
- Is there something you dislike or dread doing that people ask you to do repeatedly. Perhaps something that doesn’t align with your values or goals – just something extra on your already overfilled plate? If so, write it down. For example: The tadpole board would be better served by someone with a passion for frogs. Frogs are cute, but not cute enough to keep me from my kids.
- Describe the consequences if you say (or keep saying) yes to their ask.
- Make a list of all the good things you can say yes to, if you simply decline that one thing you can’t stand doing but feel guilty saying no to.
- Articulate a polite “no” to whatever yes-triggering, no-needing, guilt-inducing situation you face. Remember, we must help where it is needed and “love our neighbors as ourselves.” The “no” we’re referring to is the one you need to say because it doesn’t serve God, your family, or align with your values.
- Finally, write three things you’re thankful for from the last 24 hours. No repeats from previous entries!
If this is your first time here, or it’s your first time prayer journaling and you want more writing prompts, I’m so happy you’re here! Start with Day 1. It explains the whole concept. If you like, you can do the posts after the Day 1 post, in chronological order, to get the full healing experience. Just click the left arrow in the post carousel, below, to move through them in order.
No pressure though! If you’re crunched on time, you can treat them like a buffet, and only write on the ones that inspire you or tug at your spirit. Let the Lord guide you through your process. This is your journey and I’m thrilled that this little blog is a part of it!
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Whether you’re struggling or celebrating, I’d love to pray with you and for you! You can contact me here with your prayer requests and/or praises.
Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!