Published Mar 16, 2021

By Courtney Corrente 

“No.” It’s a complete sentence.

This is just one of the many paramount bites of wisdom my father has shared with me in my time on this earth. Between my father’s spiritual, physical, and mental strength, he offers an undeniable ethos to this phrase that only deepens the impact. Nevertheless, I have spent the last 8 years disregarding the vast substance of these words. 

To put it simply, I am a people pleaser. More specifically, I have an intuitive obsession with saying “yes.” The reason being, is because behind every “yes” I hand out, lies the thought that if I possess the power and ability to do something, it is my job to do it; forget whether or not I possess the time to do it. 

Because of this, I have experienced numerous times where I have filled my planner with colorful checklists, appointments, and commitments, forming an 8 ½ x ll mosaic disaster. As a result, I may have found the will to complete these undertakings, but perhaps not as well as if I were to dedicate more time and energy to them or to my personal needs. 

So, why do I confess this flaw? 

Because about three weeks ago, I finally decided it was time that I practiced saying “no”; to practice being more honest and upfront with those around me. 

To complement my father’s wisdom, my mother often quotes the words from Matthew 5:37, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” When she reminds me of this nugget of biblical gold, she usually proceeds to tell me that it means I must not only practice using both terms, “yes” and “no”, but also mean it with my whole heart. 

Further, I should not say “yes” when I know I do not have the time to complete the task; I should not say “yes” when I desperately need time for myself; I should not say “yes” when I have someone in my life who has offered to help me and can do the job just as well; I should not say “yes” when my conscience is screaming “NO”!

Ultimately, “no” is not a cuss word. It’s okay if you graciously use it when speaking to family members, co-workers, friends, fellow church members, as well as yourself. Just because you can do something or feel obligated to do something, does not mean you must agree. Just because you have the ability, does not mean your participation is demanded. Just because you possess the gifts, does not mean you have to give them away. 

Pray that God gives you the discernment to say “yes” and mean it, as well as “no” and mean it. Wholeheartedly. 

I know I will be. 

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