Sunday Sermon : Saying No

A few days ago Lucy posted the image above to facebook with the following quote …

Friendly reminder that “doing your best” does not mean working yourself to the point of a mental breakdown.

Mindful Christianity Today

It certainly resonated with lots of people!

Why do we do it? If you are anything like me you’ll see this pattern … I have a habit of over committing myself, over working and then sadly, sometimes I let people down. More often than not though, I don’t let others down as I feel so badly about it. Instead, my health and close relationships suffer as a result of trying to get everything done.

Fortunately, I am getting better at saying no to stuff. It’s not easy. I don’t really like saying no. I genuinely love helping others if I’m able! Plus, when I say no to requests, it actually opens up an opportunity for someone else to step-up. Often it’s someone more able!

However, I do like not feeling overwhelmed either …

If I’m really honest – things go wrong when I say yes for ‘not so great’ reasons. Sometimes I’m simply flattered that they are asking me … my ego takes over. Other times, I say yes because I think I ‘should’. Sadly, sometimes it comes from a place of feeling unworthy and the need to be accepted.

This is starting to sound like a bit of a confession! Opps. But stick with me …

As we journey closer and closer to Easter this week’s reading comes from  Ephesians 2:1-10 (NLT). Verse 8-10 reads …

God saved you by grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. We are created anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things God planned for us long ago.

This is such a timely reminder! God isn’t keeping a score card of all the good stuff I do. God loves me, and you, just as we are. We have nothing to prove.

My motivation for saying yes to stuff needs to come from a safe loving place. A place in which I look after myself, already feel worthy and loved. That way I can reach out and support others.

God isn’t keeping score and really, most of the time I don’t think our friends and community are either. It just feels like that sometimes as many of us aren’t very good at asking for help and we haven’t mastered the art of saying no.

Fortunately, we can build community where it is easier to share the load. Nancy posted this helpful article on facebook (I’m convinced God was using facebook to guide me this past week)!

It’s loaded with lots of great ideas and these were my top three:

3. Invite people to join a team or take on a responsibility on a trial basis. Trial periods let everyone get a feel for things and allow for a graceful exit if it’s not a good fit.

19. Stay positive. Appeals to guilt or desperation motivate few, and communicate that your ministry is struggling or marginal. People want to be part of something vibrant and hopeful, not something that is spiraling downward.

26. Encourage long-standing leaders to make space for new people by stepping aside and relinquishing control, while still collaborating and providing support.

 – 50 Ways to Multiply Your Church’s Leadership Capacity

Check out the article and let me know which ‘hints’ stick out for you …

Let’s be kind to ourselves this coming week.

Much love,

Rev Em

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