How To Say No With Zero Guilt
Two letters in all. That’s it. Just two.
It’s easy to say if you try. Go ahead…SAY IT. Say it a couple of times if need be. Now, check your pulse because you are in fact still alive and no one has died because you said the word no. Look around, I promise everything is O.K.
This small little word has the power to change your life for the better if you let it. Saying NO is nothing to be afraid of and it’s nothing to feel guilty over. In fact, saying no can be the ultimate expression of love and empowers you to set clear boundaries with others. Learning to say no is freeing because it actually allows you to say YES to what you really want to say yes to, instead of feeling resentful and dragged into things that are not in line with your season or vision for your life. It’s my goal today to show you why and how this entire process works. Let's learn how to say no and live with it.
Sometimes I think people fear telling others “no” more than they do public speaking or jumping off a cliff. I’m going to list a couple of reasons whey people fear this little word but the main point is to pay attention to what it’s wrapped up in: FEAR. It’s not about not knowing how to say it but realizing the FEAR behind it.
Fear of hurting the other person’s feelings
Fear of abandonment and separateness
A wish to be totally dependent on another
Fear of someone else’s anger
Fear of punishment
Fear of being shamed
Fear of being seen as bad or selfish
Fear of being unspiritual
Fear of one’s own guilt
What happens when we live this way is we say “yes” to everyone all the time that we wind up saying no to things we really want like: training, taking the time to plan your meals so you can eat right, your quiet time, reading, etc. These are all things that you NEED and are ALLOWED to have. Yes, we are to love and serve others but it must be from a HEART of love and genuine affection instead of fear or guilt. Doing things with fear and guilt as the root will make you bitter, resentful, burnt out and blaming others.
The bible tells us in Galatians 1:10:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Boom. Did you catch that?
“If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
The next time you feel guilty or someone tries to make you feel that way check your motives. Why do you want to say “yes” to this? Why do you feel like you have to? Is it from fear, love or are you seeking something in return?
Pleasing people is not serving Christ. It’s serving you and it’s idolatry. God also tells us in Exodus 20:3
You shall have no other gods before me.
The best way to check if you have another God in your life is to check your emotional attitude towards it. If the ebb of your emotional tide consistently rises and falls on anything other than Jesus you have found a source of idolatry.
You were not meant to live your life as a doormat or running around with zero thoughts and goals of your own, all in the name of “serving”. We are called to our own destinies and are responsible for stewarding our time, energy, emotions, and finances appropriately. This will involve saying “no” and being OK with that. If you’re in God’s will that’s the safest place for you to be. Also remember that every good thing is not always a God thing. There are lots of awesome opportunities, activities, etc but they may not fit in your season of life right now. That’s OK too. If it’s meant to be the opportunity will come back around.
Own your life. Set boundaries in line with your vision and your goals. Train those “no” muscles and you will fine tune your “yes” muscles in the process.
You Can Do IT!