It’s scary when nothing you’re thinking feels congruent. When you fear the next thing that may escape your mouth and how others may perceive it. I always feel a need to explain. To give a heartfelt explanation as to why my answer is simply “no.” Why is that word so painstakingly difficult for some while for others it seems their personal motto is “no” and it rolls off their lips with absolutely no thought of what comes next? Why is it that some feel more obligated to explain their inability or lack of desire to meet the expectations of others? Why is it that some seem to escape the mundane requests of others altogether? Is it because everyone already knows them as tough enough to say no (and that’s always their final answer)? Or is it because they are so superior, others wouldn’t dare demand a moment of their time? One of my weaknesses is easily getting caught in the trap of doing everything but what I want to do or need to do, all out of some deep seated fear that perhaps I am actually obligated in some way to meet the requests of others. It seems that anytime I say “No,” it is mistaken for “I’m really weak. Insinuate that I’m a jerk or aloof and I’ll eventually say “Yes.”
Saying no is an incredibly difficult part of church ministry. But it is an essential element of dealing with people successfully.
There is absolutely no way to move forward in a position of leadership if you’re haunted by the potential guilt of having offended someone by ultimately turning down their ideas or requests.
Sometimes our Christian beliefs get all muddled up and our bad habits become outcomes of misapplied Scripture.
Verses like “Turn the other cheek” and “Forgive 70 X 7” are taken out of context and before we know it our brand of religion forgets the moments where Jesus said “no” to healing and went to the temple to shake things up and drive out the money changers.
What about you? When is the last time your “no” was met with a clash of the Titans? Or did you refrain from saying “no” this time just to keep the peace? Which is better? Saying “no” and creating an outward battle or “going along to get along” so that you’re left to fight an internal battle that is all yours to win or lose alone?