Prioritizing the NO: Believers Who Do Too Much Too Often
The basisfor the NO I am talking is about comes from first having an awareness and keenunderstanding of what you know that God has called, created and ordained foryou to do. It is about making purpose priority and not busy-ness.
Purpose andcalling as I am using them refer to the thing/things that you believe you wereborn to do to bring God the most glory and have the greatest impact on thisearth.
What a priviledge and an honor to be gifted with the abilityand passion to give that to the world! To neglect, diminish, manipulate or pimpthat or allow others to for profit is a wrong. It diminishes you over time anddepletes your soul.
There arevariations at times when God will give us the measure of grace to include otherthings during a season of our lives. Each of those things at that may beequally important for you to do to complete a certain goal: school, a project,show, specific assignment. I am speakingof times when every major particular in our lives requires a very pointedamount of intense learning/study, training or work. However it is not always for us tocontinue in this same pattern for the entirety of our lives. These are usuallytimes of preparation for things God has orchestrated for our future.
This isimportant to realize because if we don’t we run the risk of saying yes to somany things because we have been able to “juggle a lot before.” Even if we havea personality that allows us to bode well under pressure or we are full ofenergy, if we try to maintain the same type of schedule we were ingratiated tomaintain during a particular season and for a particular purpose eventually theaffects will begin to show.
Some of themmay look like:
Decreasedproduction and performance
Fewer freshnew ideas
Lethargic- Noor extremely low energy not caused by other health issues
Constantcomplaining (for those who usually don’t)
Decreasedability to think clearly in situations and weigh the best options
Poor choicesin our efforts to find relief and release from a self -imposed problem (oftenbecome bad habits ie. Drug and/oralcohol abuse, even OTC drugs)
Neglect of relationships
Neglect ofresponsibility to family or those who are close to us
Neglectingpersonal problems and character issues that we nor God are pleased with
Neglectingand or completely avoiding/denying symptoms that tell us our health is not thebest (injuries, muscles spasms, sprains, fractures, elevated blood pressure,infections, dizziness, warning signs of heart attack or stroke)
Badattitude/behavior (snappy, quick-tempered, distant or apathetic)
Loss ofdesire for intimacy
Loss ofdesire for sex
Bad diet(over-eating, eating the wrong things, not eating at all, eating out costing lots of $$$ or eating to little to sustain ahealthy level of energy)
Compromise! Compromise! Compromise!- we decrease the time we spend listening, communing, communicating withGod and seeking an audience with Him. What follows is more compromise oftime/schedule, morals/values/principles, intimate relationships (from God toevery and anyone else although we would seldom admit it)
Disconnected/distantfrom our faith communities
Theseunintentional responses develop as a result of the consistency of ouroverwhelming schedules. These schedules of ours consists of many things thatare good things but not necessarily God things. What we do with the entirety ofour lives is worship. Saying no and prioritizing our schedules should be basedon what we know God has revealed to us as our purpose/responsibility/calling.
How can I begin to say no?
I have tostart by asking God what is the reason Iam always saying yes. Is it fear of rejection? Is it trying toovercompensate for a perceived failure, over-bearing relationships duringchildhood development or adulthood? Does it seem to stem from trying to please everyoneand not hurt others feelings? Could it be avoidance which causes me to try tonot face some thing, issue, person. Is it approval or attention seeking due to a lack? Lastly is it pride, guilt or manipulation? Is there something on theinside of me that causes me to think that I have to… whatever the have to is oreverything will fall apart/not happen/unravel?
We mustallow the Holy Spirit to show us the root of the thing. It causes intimacy withGod and ourselves as well. We will begin to have a more keen awareness of whowe are and what our limitations are and should be.
Thefollowing are questions I have begun to ask myself:
Is this what God would have me to doat this time?
Does this line up with what I know mypurpose/calling is?
Why am I doing this?
Who am I doing this for?
Does/will this take me away from mypurpose?
Notice theimmediate question is not who does this benefit or how much might I benefitfrom this. When trying to prioritize our schedules these are not the firstthings we consider because people and causes can be very persuasive andsincerely/legitimately so but that does not mean that is what I am supposed todo now. Even if I have done it before.
What else must I do?
Ask peopleto not pressure you into making a decision. Ask them to give you time toprayerfully consider. If they can’t, in most instances the answer should thenbe no. Bend the rules for exceptions only. EVERY HEARTFELT PLEA IS NOT ANEXCEPTION. They should be few and far between.
Prioritizein advance the number of events, projects, assignments that you canfulfill/complete/perform with diligence.
Plan yourpray-time and your play-time. Outside of death and other real emergencies(bleeding, child-birth, accidents, etc.) Keep your appointments with God and yourself! Yes sometimes for the good of others and yourself, it is crucial.
Talk withpeople who have made you their go to get thru person for their successfulevents, projects, job performance, etc. Be honest.
Journal/write out the answers to the questions above. Look at them. Read them aloud and silently until you can articulate themto yourself or anyone else if you need to.
Journal/writeout your call via a personal mission statement and judge every activity by whatis on your paper. Don’t look for a way to justify possible indirect fits.