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The Fine Art of Saying No

The two-letter word that can save your ministry, even your life.
The Fine Art of Saying No

Perhaps the greatest life management skill is knowing when to say yes and when to say no. All kinds of opportunities and decisions confront us. We can't say yes to all of them. Neither do we want to be ungracious, saying no simply for our own convenience.

For many of us, saying no doesn't come naturally. Why?

  • We want to appear busy. We complain about busyness, but in our fast-track world, we assume we're supposed to have two things to do for every minute we have. One helpful piece of advice I got was "Opportunity is not a mandate." God doesn't expect me to take every opportunity. If I know who I am, what my gifts are, and what my calling is, I can determine which needs I can say yes to and which needs I must leave for others.
  • We want to be liked. Some people do things they shouldn't because they think saying no will make someone stop liking them. As a businessman, I decided I would rather be respected than liked. If people find out they can threaten you with "I won't like you," you lose their respect and much of your time.
From Issue:Fall 1995: Biblical Preaching
July/August
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