I am not the girl who is trying to please everyone, who says yes to anything and everything I am asked to do. I am never going to bake you brownies, I won’t attend every party, and even if I really like you, I probably won’t agree to be in your wedding. I am pretty good at saying no to things that I don’t want to do, don’t have the time to do well, or feel wouldn’t be the best use of my energy. Sometimes too good.
I have had to learn to say yes to more because retreating from the world isn’t an option. I tried that for a time and it did not go well. I need to involve myself in my environment to be the person that God has called me to be. This means discovering how to participate in my world in a healthy way.
It is so important that we engage with the world around us. As Christians, we are instructed to engage with our community (Matthew 28:19). In fact, it is assumed that we are part of the world around us (John 17:18).
As I have learned to say yes more, I have been learning to intentionally shift my focus. My priority is changing from answering with a simple yes or no, to contemplating the quality of the yes or no.
Saying “yes” is not merely a way to fill up my time or spend my energy. Saying “yes” is an investment. When we say “yes” we are deciding to make a contribution to a person or situation. When I say yes to something, I am valuing it. It shows that it matters to me. I consider it worth spending my time and energy on.
Am I saying yes to valuing people? Am I stopping in places where Jesus would have?
Jesus shows us an example of being moved to say yes to things that were inconvenient or outside of his plans. He stopped to meet people where they were. He invested in people’s lives because they were his priority. Jesus valued those who were hurting and in need, so he stopped to give them what he had. (Mark 6:30; Matthew 14:13)
He also moved on from places where he could not make a valuable investment (Matthew 13:53). We need to be brave enough to let go of things where we aren’t able to invest in, even if it is something we want to be a part of.
We all have things that we need to do that aren’t optimal from our perspective; and some things are simply always going to be a necessary waste of time. But there are so many places where we could be more strategic and a bit wiser about what we do.
I am continuing with every decision to have a better yes. A discerning yes. A yes to things, people, and places that I should be investing in. A yes that prioritizes what Jesus would prioritize.
How do I choose to say yes to the things Jesus would want me to say yes to? Where would he have me spend my time and energy?
Steph Meyer is originally from St. Louis, but now lives in sunny California. She loves travel, reading, and new experiences. She is passionate about seeing women empowered in their everyday lives and is living the dream working as a part of the Propel Team. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.