It’s been a busy season to say the least.
It’s not uncommon that Friday arrives and I can’t even remember how I got there. It’s like when you’re so deep in thought while you’re driving that you get a case of auto-pilot amnesia or something (totally just made that up), and can’t even remember how you got to your destination.
I’m sure all of us have experienced busy seasons, or just busy lives, and like me, you discover how difficult it is to be present in the moment because of being distracted by the thing you need to do next. I’ve always been the type of person that wants to “do it all”. I want to think that I have some special superpower where I can effectively do a million tasks and also have a thriving social life.
The thing is, it’s not the busyness necessarily that’s the problem, but it’s an overestimation of what I’m really designed and called to do because something else is in the way.
When I think of how Jesus lived, I realize that he didn’t always say yes to everything and everyone.
He said “no” to coming to Lazarus when he was sick, until it was time to say yes. (John 11:3-6)
He said “no” to satan’s tempting invitation of power in the wilderness because he knew who he was. (Matthew 4:4,10)
He said “no” to the pharisees religious offerings because they were rooted in self righteousness and pride. (John 5:39)
He said “no” and rebuked Peter when he tried to keep him from the cross. (Matthew 16:23)
The motivation behind Jesus’ yes’s and no’s were always pure, and even if his “no” would cause pain temporarily, he was secure in knowing that it was actually accomplishing the best thing for the other person, and ultimately for God’s will.
When Jesus finally came to Lazarus his “yes” was that much more powerful because it came to raise him from the dead rather than simply healing him from his sickness.
In this unusually busy season of life where I feel like I’ve said “yes” to everything, I’m realizing that my yes is not coming from the purest of places, and is actually being driven and overshadowed by a fear of rejection.
How often have we said “yes” to something or someone by consulting our fear rather than our peace?
We see how Jesus was jealous over his inner peace, the true good of others, and the Father’s will, as he made his decisions. But for me, instead of consulting whether this yes will protect my peace, be truly good for others, and honor God’s will, I’m crippled by the fear that if I say “no” I will be rejected in the process.
I want a more powerful yes, and sometimes that means saying no.
I’m learning that a life rooted in the secure love and acceptance of Christ will give me the confidence to say yes to the right things and no to the things that, although they may not be wrong, they may just be wrong for me.
It’s so important to know what is truly driving us. Is it fear of rejection? Is it insecurity? Is it seeking after a position? Or are my yes’s flowing from a place of security in Christ where I know who I am, and I know who I belong to?
A more powerful yes comes from simply always saying yes to Jesus, and sometimes that also means saying no to things He hasn’t called you to. I’ve had to ask myself the question, “what is driving my yes”? It’s either going to be fear or love. If I am motivated by a conviction that I am loved by God, than I’ll have the wisdom to know what to give my yes to.
Jesus’ love for us is what made it possible for Him to say “yes” to the cross. In the garden when everything in Him wanted to say no, it was his all-consuming and compelling love that gave him the strength to say yes.
I’m learning that as we receive God’s love and release our fears of rejection we can embrace a more powerful yes.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” I John 4:18