Friday, April 16, 2010

When it's OK to say "no."

Overly busy people will say they have too much on their plate.
The other day, I felt like my plate was a casserole dish and it was overflowing!
And I was angry and resentful. I felt trapped.
I wrestled with cutting some volunteer duties out of my schedule, but that was difficult. My husband told me to cut back. Friends said the world wouldn't end - and I wouldn't cease to be a team player - if I said "no."
Still, I struggled.
I prayed. Sought Godly counsel. Read the Scriptures.
When I came across verses in Romans 12, I felt guilt rising up inside of me. The verses tells how we who are many form one body and that each member belongs to the others. It talks about honoring others above one's self.
So shouldn't I agree to go ahead with these other projects even if I am feeling overloaded?
I don't think so.
I don't think that honoring others above myself means that I take on so much work that I'm angry and resentful.
How then can I show the love of Christ?
I read Romans 12:6-8 which tells how we're each given different gifts.
The verses, from the New International Version, say: "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."
I stopped a moment.
Was God telling me that I needed to go ahead with this volunteer work - even if I was tired - and use my teaching and mercy gifts?
I wondered.
Then I noticed something.
The word "let."
The verses say that if a person's gift is teaching, LET him teach.
It didn't say MAKE him teach.
The verses say that if a person's gift is serving, "let" him serve - not "make."
I finally reached a point where I knew I had to do something and I prayed that I would be understood.
I made a phone call and explained my overloaded feelings. By then, my fears about my news not being well received had reached an out-of-portion peak.
But the person understood.
All the worst-case scenarios that had tormented me never happened. The person promised to pray for me and was very loving.
I was relieved. A burden had been lifted.
Now, I'm looking forward to some rest from my volunteer duties - which may be good, because I anticipate that my work responsibilities (and hours) will be increased during the next couple of weeks.
I'm not looking forward to the next two weeks, but I know that I must rely on God for strength, energy, patience, endurance and peace.
He is faithful. I just have to remember that and dump my burdens at the foot of an old rugged cross.
And trust.



1 comment:

  1. Lay your burdens at His feet, and quit picking them back up sweetie.