The Freeing Power of Saying “No”

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I was overwhelmed, burnt out, struggling with depression through a difficult season of grief, and many unexpected events surrounding it all.

Before that, I had been a pursuer of people, relationships, and most importantly Jesus. I was actively involved in ministry and leading small groups.

I was reliable, responsible, and pursued those around me.

I say I was because suddenly I found myself in a place where I needed people to see me, to pursue me, and to minister to me. I was suddenly in a place where there wasn’t anything to give and I had to say no to those natural tendencies to reach out and make time for others.

The voices in my head told me I was not a good friend or a good Christian. Condemnation seeped over my head from my own voices and some of those around me. Click To Tweet

I have been studying about Jesus and His ministry on earth.

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.” Mark 1:35-38 (NASB)

As I read this and other places in the bible, I see that Jesus said no to people sometimes in order to focus on the ministry God the Father had called Him to. Click To Tweet

I found peace and freedom in this truth. I am not perfect and I am not Jesus, but my heart is to follow Him well. I desire to learn from Him and grow in Him.

When I looked at my life, I realized I had not dropped everything. I was still in places God wanted me to be. I was aware the season was changing and I needed to bring relationships and ministry to His feet, surrendering them to His will.

He has been faithful to give me back what is for this season and I am at peace with it.

I have struggled with feeling guilty for having the need to be ministered to and for saying no to people, but God is faithful to lead me and guide me by His Holy Spirit towards what He wants me to do and not to do, and where to go and not go.

I have never been good at saying "no" I am afraid to miss something or make someone feel unloved. I feel like I have failed God and people in some way. Click To Tweet

I know I am not the only one who feels this way sometimes.

Are you in a season where you need to be ministered to instead of ministering to others?

Are you in a place where you are having to say “no” more than “yes”?

Is God changing your direction?

I am encouraging you to follow Him. Let go of the guilt and condemnation. Pray for those you have to say no to right now. Ask God to bring those in your life who can minister to you in the ways that you need. Keep seeking Him! Let Him free your heart as you do this.

2 responses on “The Freeing Power of Saying “No”

  1. Donna

    Des, this spoke to my heart today. You know I am in that exact space of having to say no. God is in it with me, I know, but I also am a “doer” and feel most close to Him when I’m ministering. This season is teaching me that it’s ok to be vulnerable and let others see me and my pain.
    Thank you for your openness and willingness to hear me. 💜

  2. Linda Greene

    Such a great article, and one I could have written because it speaks from my heart as well. I needed this reminder today. Thank you!

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