When To Say "No".

I can’t tell you how relaxed I felt that I didn’t have to worry about posting for Thursday. When Monday came around I was calm and ready to post. It wasn’t easy cutting back on posting at first, but I’m glad I did it now. That made me wonder; why is it so hard to say no? Not necessarily just to bad things, but even some good things.

About a month ago, I had an opportunity to write some Christmas monologues for my church. I knew I didn’t have any time (which was one of the reasons I cut back on posting), so I prayed about it and didn’t specially feel God leading either direction, so, after talking it over with many people I respect, I said “no”. It was hard, because church is a good thing, and what if God sent this opportunity my way for a reason and I turned it down? It’s so easy to say no if you know it’s wrong, but this wasn’t.

A couple weeks later, one of my pastors told me that since I turned down the opportunity, things were headed in a direction that may be even better, and reminded me it was okay to say no to some things when responding in obedience to God.

Recently I came upon this verse, Mark 1:35-38: “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ But Jesus replied, ‘We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.’”

I realized even Jesus said no to things that weren’t necessarily bad. And if Jesus couldn’t do everything, I certainly can’t. In fact, what they wanted him to do was good. They wanted Jesus to preach to them again, but he turned them down, because he had other things to do. According to God, who he was just spending time with, something even more important. So Jesus didn’t want to fill his schedule so full, that he would miss God and what He wanted him to do. He made time to be with God, and said no to some good things in order to make room for the more important things.

With the fast pace and the busy schedule of our lives, sometimes we tend to miss God and those more important things He wants us to spend time on. But how do you know what the “more important things” are? By spending time with God and His word, you’ll grow to be in synch with His will. This can take time. Pray about every decision. An easy way to measure importance is to ask if it puts God, then family, then friends in front of yourself. When God is first and you are last, everything falls into place.

What is God asking you to give up to make more time for Him? Like Jesus walked away from the people in the town for different people in another town, when have you walked away from a good thing for a more important thing?


  1. You are very wise, Sarah! It's easy to get caught up into "good" things. But God wants us to be listening to his voice and what HE wants us to be doing! And you're so right--it's easy to loose track of his voice and what he's saying, because often it's a whisper or a nudge that gets lost in the busyness of life.

  2. Very true, Jody. I'm learning that. :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. Love this post! Imagine that, Jesus actually said no!

    Lately, I've been adhering to the wisdom found in Proverbs 3:6: In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. I'm consciously trying to stop and ask God what to do about anything and everything because I've realized how little I've done that.

    I'm proud of you for making the decision to say no!

  4. Sarah,

    I arrived to visit from Bonita's blog. I love this post! I wonder how many time I have missed God's plan for me by always saying "Yes" and why is a simple two letter word, "No", so very hard to say? I have struggles in this area but am learning as I journey by His side. Have a wonderful day!

  5. Coming across this post today was a true God moment for me. You answered the exact questions I have been struggling with in cutting back on some of my ministry obligations simply because I've said yes to too many "good" things that my home life and my health are suffering. Yet I can't seem to get the courage up to say I need to step away. Your words are the confirmation I needed. God bless you!


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