The Courage to Say “No”
My husband Dave once did one of the wisest things I’ve seen. Before we entered full-time ministry, he worked as an engineer. He was offered a promotion that included a pay raise and a lot of prestige. But he turned it down.
At first I was angry with him. I thought he was making a big mistake. Didn’t he want to climb the corporate ladder? Wasn’t he the best person for the job?
He explained that he had watched the other men in that position. They had to travel extensively, and they were constantly saddled with unreasonable deadlines that put them under tremendous stress.
“That is not the way I want to live,” Dave said. He chose the position that allowed him to stick to his core values—commitment to family, and comfort with self— rather than chasing corporate power so others would look up to him.
Besides, why choose a bigger paycheck if you just spend it on doctor bills to relieve your stress-induced illnesses? Job stress causes as much illness in this country as smoking and lack of exercise. Like those things, it kills.
Do whatever you need to do to make sure you fully enjoy the life He has provided for you. Sometimes saying “no” takes more courage than saying “yes”.
You can take this concept beyond the work arena. Removing all the things from your schedule that aren’t bearing good fruit will greatly reduce your stress level and enable you to truly enjoy the things you choose to concentrate on.
Prayer Starter: Lord, I ask for Your help to manage my schedule wisely. Help me to keep my priorities straight and learn to say “no” to things that will pull me away from what’s important in life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.