Saying “no” makes way for the “yes.” Yes is active and eager. It moves us forward into the future. The biggest challenge is to know what to say yes to. Usually it will not be a matter of right and wrong, but rather between good, better, and best! The Bible calls this wisdom. We need God’s wisdom to say “yes” to the best and let go of the rest.
By the way, the word yes, is an old word. It goes all the way back to the Old English gēse or gīse, meaning ‘may it be so’. So here are few things we seek to “may it be so!”
- Say “yes” to what aligns with your priorities.
Embrace the things you know are important. This isn’t about being a “yes person”. It’s about having the courage and conviction to do the things we know are important. John Maxwell challenges, “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” I encourage you to start each day with two or three things you want to accomplish and seek to say yes to those things. Give them your time and attention. Make yeses support those goals as much as possible.
- Say “yes” to what moves you closer to God.
There are decisions which require time and deliberation. This isn’t one of them. When you can do something that grows your love for God, do it! Always say yes to time with God; that may be a walk, a retreat for prayer and planning, or a few minutes of quiet in your office (or even your car before a meeting!) But time with God doesn’t have to be solitary. Scripture tells us not to neglect gathering together with others for worship and the Word (Hebrews 10:45).
- Say “yes” to help.
Giving and receiving help is a sign of maturity. Rejecting help because we believe it undermines our independence or threatens our position as leaders is flawed thinking. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you don’t need help. No matter your expertise and training, all of us can use some help. Next time someone asks if they can help you, say yes! Also, look around to see who needs your help. Say yes if you can!
- Say “yes” to what stretches you.
I like living in my comfort zone. Yet I have been used by God the most when I’m willing to say yes to the things that make me uncomfortable. When something stretches us we often let our fears answer no, instead of our faith answering in the affirmative. So I encourage you to take some risks. Meet with new people. Address that issue you’ve been avoiding. Try something new.
- Say “yes” to your spouse.
My wife made me put this down. Just kidding. Truthfully, there is a study which examined the ratio of positive to negative interactions in a marriage. They found that if the ratio falls below five to one, divorce is far more likely. Negativity, in short, can be potent poison for any relationship. So, as often as you can, be positive and say yes to your spouse. Really!
BEFORE YOU GO…
What are you saying yes to today? I’d love to hear from you!
One more thing, “maybe” is also an option. Sometimes if you need more time to think and pray about something, don’t be afraid to respond with a ‘maybe’.
Have a great day!