I can’t be sure how I came upon the phrase. I just blurted it out one day in a conversation among women (me included) who were all trying to figure out a balance in life.
“Yawl, we need a No Anointing.”
That’s what I called it. Not exactly sure why. It just seemed to fit.
It’s simply a silly phrase I made up – less for this article and more for my own life and my desire to find a sanity-sustaining level of margin in my calendar.
The list of demands and opportunities and errands and activities and invitations is for me, the same as it is for you, endless. Life can easily become a hurricane of overwhelming (and sometimes) mindless activity that leaves us spent, exhausted and unfeeling; our emotional reserves zapped and unavailable for the people who want, need and deserve it most.
The precarious part is, none of these seemingly “urgent” needs appear disadvantageous when they are first presented to us. The invitation to participate in that book club or organize that event or lead another ministry group or write another post or plan another initiative, oh it always sounds so good, so enriching, so unique an opportunity that we cannot bring ourselves to pass it up. Not when we might never get an opportunity like that again, our ego (or our guilt) tells us.
So, despite the slight pause that we feel deep down in our gut . . . we say “yes” anyway. And it seems fine . . . at the time.
Then the day/meeting/appointment/party approaches and the weight of it falls like a 50lb dumbbell on our chest. The days leading up to feel like an oncoming two-ton mack truck approaching at a terrifying speed. We didn’t realize it at the time we said yes . . . but now we see . . .
That every yes to one thing . . . is a simultaneous no to something else.
Time spent here will be time we are not able to invest there.
Yes, some things and some people are worth that kind of investment. They yield hardy benefits for us that make it all worth it. But being able to assess and calculate this up front is always difficult. And while we’ll never be 100% accurate, these questions can help us begin to filter our yes’s and our no’s.
1. Is it what I need to do?
Two thoughts here. First, is the task something that ONLY YOU can do or is it something that you need to be open-handed enough to allow someone else to do on your behalf? So many of the tasks that burden our lives (because of perfectionism or a need to control) can be offloaded to another, highly capable and willing participant if only we’d release it to them to do. It would not only relieve us but also give them the gift of our trust, motivating them with our high expectations.
Second, is the task a responsibility? A need. ‘Cause let’s face it, dinner has to be made (or ordered), the presentation for work has to be finished, the medical procedure has to be done, the devotional time has to be incorporated, exercise has to be prioritized (doctor’s orders). The list goes on and is unique to each individual. There are some things that are needs, plain and simple. Your health, well-being and functionality depend on it or God’s call on your life necessitates it. Whether you feel like it is nearly irrelevant. These things need to be at the top of your list of priorities. And you need to honor them.
2. Is it what I want to do?
Is this task something that YOU want to do or is it an activity that someone else has been pressing you to do? Coming up with the authentic answer to this question can take time. So, I encourage you to TAKE IT! Before responding to that invitation, sit down with yourself and think it through. Do you really want to be a part of this or are you being driven by FOMO (fear of missing out), guilt or another person’s desires.
3. Is it worth the exchange I will be making if I agree to do it?
If you say “yes” to this, what will you automatically be saying “no” to? Filling that space on your calendar will mean that nothing else can occupy that same timeframe. Are you ok with that? If you are, go for it. If not, it’s a good cue to let the opportunity pass. In the end, even if nothing else specific fills in the gap, you’ll be left with the all-too-rare moment (and joy, I might add) of a few free hours to enjoy being with yourself and your family.
The truth is, the “No” Anointing will disappoint and frustrate others around you. Many may turn their noses up at your boundaries and scold you for not making their priorities yours. But you’ll be surprised how many more will not. They’ll nod their head in understanding and admire your courage. And then they’ll want the freedom that you’re resting in.
And when they ask you what it is – what that look of grace is all over your rested face – you can look them squarely in their eyes and say . . ."I’m anointed . . . to say “no” and I’m feeling mighty good about doing it"!
Priscilla Shirer is a wife and a mom first. She is also a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, holding a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies and loves nothing more than to serve her sisters in Christ through the teaching of God’s Word. She considers it a privilege to serve believers from every denomination and culture by helping them to know the truths of Scripture intellectually and by encouraging them to experience these truths practically by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can connect with Priscilla on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and her Website.