I have some very close friends who are tired, physically worn out, overwhelmed and over-committed. One reason they have become like this is because they haven't learned how to say "no".
The word "no" is a hard word for many of us. If we want to excel in life, ministry, grace, likeability, influence - we must learn to create healthy boundaries. Part of a healthy boundary involves learning to say "no".
Here's the tension we often experience: hearing "no" can be demoralizing, but we can't increase our effectiveness without it. So how can we learn to be better with "no"?
First, know who you are. Know your limitations. Be honest about who you are and what you want. Once you understand who you are it becomes a road map for the things to say "yes" to, and the things you must say "no" to. "No" isn't about being mean, but rather being honest about who you are.
Second, the power of re-direction. When you must say "no," give an alternative. "No, I can't go this week but I can go in a couple of weeks." "No, I can't help you right now but maybe so and so can." "No, but what I could do for you is this."
Third, create space for the right things. Creating space in your life will enable you to become the best version of you. When you say "no" to taking on extra projects at work, you have more time to spend with your family. When you say "no" to managing other people's emotional baggage and problems, you have room to focus on developing yourself. Saying "no" to everyone else's schedule will free up time for you to develop your spiritual life.
When you say "no" to something, you have the ability to say "yes" to something else. And when you have room to say "yes" to the things that really matter to you, you become more likeable.
P.S. This Sunday, I will help us sift through how to make good decisions while keeping our commitments! We will continue our journey through Joshua and will cover chapters 9 & 10. See you Sunday morning!