This past week I hit a wall.  Too many hours on too many projects dealing with too many people wanting me to operate on their schedules.  I hit the wall so hard that some very good friends encouraged me to go home and get some rest. They gave me “permission”, which is what most workaholics need ( I admit it-I am a “recovering” workaholic that periodically falls off the wagon.

The problem for workaholics in the ministry or any people-helping profession is that there is always something to always someone asking.  You don’t want to be a slacker. You don’t want to let people down. You don’t want to fail to do what needs to be done.

And most of all, you hate to say “NO.”

But that is a trap and not a wise life-planning principle.  Recently I read something by life coach Michael Hyatt.  Hyatt wrote:

If we don’t get better at saying “no,”

  1. Other peoples’ priorities will take precedence over ours.
  2. Mere acquaintances—people we barely know!—will crowd out time with family and close friends.
  3. We will not have the time we need for rest and recovery.
  4. We will end up frustrated and stressed.
  5. We won’t be able to say “yes” to the really important things.

For more from Michael Hyatt go to HYATT
This last one was the clincher for me. Every time I say “no” to something that is not important, I am saying “yes” to something that is.

We are not immortal. We have limits. We have “tanks” that empty without replenishing.  We get tired and become less productive and find it difficult to make wise decisions when we are weary.

But more importantly, we are not indispensable – even if we like to tell ourselves that and others want us to be leave so that they can be dispensable.

As a Christian I believe that the Holy Spirit tries to guide me in all truth.  I need to remember to listen to the Spirit when making decisions – even the small ones that begin to add up.  Then equipped with the Spirit’s discernment and trusting in God’s sovereignty – I can learn to give a “sanctified no.”

And in so doing say “yes” to something really important God wants me to be ready for.

For more from Michael Hyatt go to HYATT


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