January 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm · naltadonna · 0 comments
Many of us have complicated relationships with the word “no.” In our overscheduled, overcommitted society, many of us have difficulty saying “no.” This Sunday in our sermon series Boundaries, we talked about the hidden gift of “no.” We looked at some practical ways of when and how to say no in order to fulfill our God-given purpose.
In Genesis 2, God created a human out of the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. We are created, we are not the Creator. As created, finite beings, we have limits. For example, we have limits in the sense that we need a certain amount of sleep, food, and relationships to survive and thrive. God did not intend for us to do it all, we were not created for that. God made us with the hidden gift of no. The gift of no brings sanity and helps us to focus on our priorities and the things that matter most in our lives. Our limits help us to recognize where we begin and end, and they help us to know where our boundaries need to be.
Every time we say yes to something, we say no to something else. We are responsible for our own limits, not the limits of other people. Only we know what is within our own limits. When we have our priorities set, it is easier to know when we need to say “yes” or “no.” The UMC mission is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” The top priority of our church is to fulfill that mission. One key question to ask yourself is “Am I using my gifts, resources, and life to the best advancement of the kingdom of God?”
We know when to say “no” when red flags of resentment, anger, or frustration begin to build up when we are asked to do something. When that happens, we need to reflect and pray to God about where in our life we need to say no. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend recommend practicing with “baby no’s”- which are small “no’s” spoken in loving, supportive relationships. Once we feel comfortable with baby no’s, we can move up to “grown up no’s,” which are the no’s we say to the people whom it is most difficult to set a boundary. “No” is a hidden gift from God we need to use in order to protect, nurture, and develop the life God has given us and desires us to live.
Monday- Genesis 2:4-9
Tuesday- Genesis 2:15-24
Wednesday- Genesis 3:1-7
Thursday- Genesis 3:8-19
Friday- Genesis 3:20-24
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
- How can the word “no” be a hidden gift?
- Is there an area of your life where God is calling you to say no in order to say yes to a more important priority?