Sometimes it is difficult for us Christians to say “no”, isn’t it? After all, we aspire to be “good” people, loving and kind. We like to help others and make their lives better, sometimes at our own discomfort or peril. We want to maintain relationships and fret about how our “no” might be perceived, judged, or criticized, even though we may have already said “yes” many, many, many other times to that very same person.
But sometimes saying “no” is a necessary response; the holy and loving thing to do. This is especially true when or if we do not have the capacity – physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, or emotionally – to do what is being requested or when our “yes” does not make room for other necessary considerations.
Most likely, if you are reading this you are a thoughtful, generous person committed to a life of service and healing love. You sacrifice, even suffer at times for the greater good and, yes, helping is your way.
But we all have our limitations, and I want to encourage your comfort in saying “no” when necessary, free of guilt or compromise. Take the risk. If the relationship is healthy, it will survive and even grow from truthful sharing. If it is not, then perhaps there is no better time to gain some clarity around the matter.
And I want to also encourage your hearing other people’s “no” with understanding, void of judgment or assigning some value that may not be true.
If we are honest, we might admit that every once in a while, we simply do not have the capacity – physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, or emotionally – to offer more.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy