Just Say No

I am a people pleaser. Big time. I want everyone to think I’m great, to invite me to all the parties, and to speak of me fondly when I’m not in the room.

There are major problems with that, as you can imagine.

One of the biggest problems is that I sometimes have a hard time saying “No.” People ask me to do something, and my automatic response is, “Sure!” Because I feel like it is something God wants me to do? Not usually. Usually it’s because I am afraid if I say no that person will not speak of me fondly when I am not in the room.

But there’s a problem with never saying no – I get overwhelmed, I end up doing so many things that I don’t do any one of them well. Colossians 3:23 says, “In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.”

Ouch. I have to tell you — I worry WAY more about making people happy than making God happy. But that is SO backward. And stressful. Because God knows just how much I can handle. God loves me. He speaks fondly of me when I’m not in the room.

So I have tried to listen more to him than to others, to say “yes” to God even when that means saying “no” to others. I don’t always succeed, but God is growing me in this. Sometimes he uses friends to come alongside me and say, “Krista, you do not have time for this.” Sometimes it is a simple realization that my plate is full. I cannot add one more thing to it. I have had to say no to some good things – ministries, parties, activities, dinners, you name it. And, as a result, there are people who do not speak fondly of me when I am not in the room.

But that’s all right. Because I need to focus on pleasing God, not people. I need to let go of the fear that people might not like me and embrace that reality that I am deeply loved by God. I need to look to him, what he has for me to do. Because there is joy in that, peace in that. And there is rest. Rest is something that is hard to get when you’re constantly saying “yes.”

Jesus says that, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt. 11:30). So join me in trading in the burden of being a people pleaser for the freedom of being a God-pleaser.

And, go ahead, don’t speak fondly of me. I can take it!

1 Comment

  1. Eustacia Tan
    Oct 10, 2012

    I have the same problem! I feel bad whenever I say no, although I’m learning to say it more often. Especially in Japan, where I need to say no to some things in order to go to Church every Sunday.


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