I don’t know how it’s taken me three decades to discover that I have a speech problem, but I do. There’s one word that refuses to squeeze out of my mouth . . . but it’s an important one.
Yes slides out so smoothly, with its smooth y and its slippery s. Okay, with its friendly syllables and happy-go-lucky ways, falls out just as easily. Sure is tip-of-the-tongue, ready to tumble out at a moment’s notice.
But no, on the other hand, regularly remains lodged somewhere in my esophagus. The word does manage to eke out on occasion . . . but only when it’s followed by problem, as in “no problem.”
Last week I met with two amazing people who have an amazing vision and invited me to be part of an amazing project.
My lips were immediately shaping into a yes. But in those fleeting seconds before I opened my mouth, a series of images flashed through my mind: all my current yeses. What would I have to sacrifice to make this new yes happen?
Here’s the thing: there are already some nonnegotiable yeses I’ve committed to. I’ve said yes to following Christ; I’ve said yes to being a wife; I’ve said yes to being a daughter, a friend, an aunt, a sister, a part of a community.
Would saying yes to this good thing mean saying no to those other best things?
And so I said no. I thought the sky would fall, the world would end, fuses would blow. But to my surprise, none of those things happened. I said no and nobody died.
We must learn the practice of saying no to that which crowds God out and yes to a way of life that makes space for God.
—M. Shawn Copeland
If God is calling you to do something, by all means, say yes. But if this yes is crowding out the best thing, then it may be time to say that word that can be so hard to get out.
Practice it with me now: NO.
Is there something you need to say no to today so you can say yes to the best thing?