This business of not learning how to say "No" in my younger years, has almost caused the "death of me." This is not to say that I finally "learned" how to say "No." Actually, I am now suffering physically from allowing myself to get too tired in recent years, here at ------, and it goes back to my wanting to accommodate everybody by taking on "things to do" that I was asked to do that surely could have been asked of others, but were not, since I was known as one who would say "Yes." And so, your article is a message I needed to read, study, and accept, and act upon about 50 years ago. Now that I'm 89, I don't have much time to change my ways, I'll just soon run myself "into the ground." Literally.
Your articles are so good, and often so timely just for me. So, thank you so very much, dear friend.”
My friend has accomplished more in his life than most would have in three lives. Yet, he recognizes that much more of true spiritual value could have touched many more lives for Jesus Christ had he simply said, I cannot say yes to your request.
Taking the time to prayerfully consider, “what is most important for me today?” To further seek the will of the Lord in planning our time in advance as to what type of things we will say yes to, and make a list of these things. This list will include the giving of appointments, accepting the ever present time wasting telephone conversations as well as trivial stories and mail. In professional life a well-trained and well-mannered secretary is worth his/her weight in gold.
Personally I love this statement from O.S. Hawkins in his book, The Pastor’s Guide to Leading and Living. Pastor Hawkins relates how his first pastor valued and preserved time:
“W. Frank Swank was not known for his compassion on what he thought were trivial matters and could at times be rather gruff. I walked into his office and poured out my dilemma to him. Poor me! He looked up from his desk and abruptly said, “Son, you be faithful in little things and God will make you ruler over greater things. Now, go on your way and close the door when you leave.” That was it! I got in my car and you can probably still see the stripes of black rubber marks in the parking lot. I was incensed at his “insensitivity.”
O.S. did in fact learn from this “insensitive” experience and went on to Pastor the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.
Here’s an interesting and loaded verse on time choices: Acts 20:16 “For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.”
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
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