Proverbs 20:25: Think carefully before you promise to give something to God. Later, you might wish you had not made that promise.
Have you ever regretted saying “yes” to someone? They asked you to help with something and at the time, you weren’t all too keen, but … well, you know how it goes … “you said yes anyway”. You didn’t want to let them down. You didn’t want to appear selfish, or arrogant, or unhelpful. I’m sure you’ve been there.
Many of us lead busy lives, and striking that balance between work and our personal lives, meeting our own needs and those of others, serving and resting, is not easy. It becomes exponentially harder, the more you take on.
That’s one of my great weaknesses. If I’m not careful, I end up taking on way too much. So here’s one of the most important words I’ve ever learned. “No”.
It’s difficult to say “no” sometimes. It makes you feel bad. Especially, can I say, when we feel obliged to do something for God. That may sound a bit odd, but sometimes, people ask you to do something for God, that may not be in His plan for you at all.
Just recently, I was asked to help serve lunch at the upcoming women’s conference at our church. Now, I’d just come off the back of preaching every Sunday for two months while our pastor was away. And I was about to fly out to India and then on to Africa on a pretty full-on, hectic speaking tour.
So, I carefully considered her request for about half a second, and I said “no”. She was shocked. Perhaps it appeared to her that I didn’t want to serve, that I thought myself too important to muck in, in the kitchen.
But that wasn’t it. I needed to spend time with my wife on that Saturday, before heading out of the country for four weeks. There were plenty of other men in the church with plenty of time on their hands, who could easily step in to help. In that instance, “no”, was absolutely the right answer.
Learning to say no isn’t easy. But if we don’t learn this lesson, if we don’t learn to say “no” sometimes, well, you end up living to regret it, over and over again.
Think carefully before you promise to give something to God. Later, you might wish you had not made that promise. (Proverbs 20:25)
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.