11 Reasons I Struggle to Say No

11 Reasons I Struggle To Say No

OK, this blog is a confession. I’m not good at saying “no.” Consequently, I sometimes struggle with a heavily-booked calendar and an overwhelmed spirit. Most recently, I’ve been doing some self-analysis to see why I still struggle here after more than 35 years in ministry.

11 Reasons I Struggle to Say No

I love what I do. When you love what you do, it’s easy to say “yes” to any opportunities. You just don’t want to miss anything.

I’ve never asked anyone to teach me how to balance my life. I’m not blaming anyone here; in fact, I’m taking responsibility. I haven’t asked anyone to help me.

I don’t always listen to others. I’d be lying if I said no one has ever challenged me to work on balance. Sometimes I’m just too busy to listen…

I live with the urgency of the gospel. I really do think regularly about the reality of lostness, unreached people and the coming of Christ. The older I get, the more I live with that urgency.

I like the accolades. Those words are painful to write, frankly. I do, though, enjoy when someone praises me for my work—so I sometimes work more than I must.

I don’t want to let anybody down. If someone I respect and love wants me to do something, I want to do it. Those same people would understand if I said, “I’m just too busy,” but I usually don’t give them that chance.

I don’t want to seem arrogant. I wrestle, for example, with not accepting invitations just because the crowds are likely to be smaller and the travel will be tougher. I’m always worried about making decisions that seem to be arrogant.

I don’t think enough about stewardship of my time and body. Financial stewardship is a big deal for me, but I don’t give enough consideration to other aspects of stewardship.

I am an idolater. I know better than to live this way, but I live at times like I can accomplish everything. That’s idolatry.

I don’t seek enough input from others. That’s probably the case in general. When I make a decision by myself, I’ll likely spend too little time thinking about the decision.

I’m still growing. I’m 57, and I’ve been a Christian for almost 43 years—but I have a long way to go.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with this issue. Readers, why do you struggle with saying “no”?

This article originally appeared here.

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Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.