“Please confirm that you no longer wish to receive valuable money saving coupons and time saving promotions from our sponsor…”This was the message I received recently as I sought to unsubscribe to a retailer which had been sending inordinate amounts of email advertisements to my inbox every day. At the end of the school year I had over 3,000 messages piled up from all sorts of good, but unnecessary, places.
I spent an entire afternoon sorting and deleting, unsubscribing and filtering my email. It was a major task to not only clean it up, but also to change the rules so I can avoid this in the future.
Yet this message made me sound crazy to want to draw this small boundary to uncomplicate my life.
My no becomes persuaded, cajoled, and tempted until it is a flagging and reluctant, guilt-ridden, what-if-I-miss-out yes.
There are so many good things to do out there. Who doesn't want to "receive valuable money saving coupons and time saving promotions"? What if we decide that instead of the coupons and promotions we will just wear last year's shorts and swimsuit one more season and forego the shopping all together? To make room for something else that is the best?
The world does not stop spinning if I wait a bit before committing.This was a bit of shocker to me, I must admit. I was surprised when I learned that I and my decisions did not actually make the world go round. And by waiting, I actually had a clearer head to make a wiser decision anyway. Often while we wait, even for a few hours, more facts and information become clear and change the weight of the option being considered.
I will disappoint people with my no, but I will refresh myself and my family when I stand by it.Healthy relationships understand that we all disappoint each other. But most people respect one who knows her own healthy boundaries, even if the no was a disappointment. By risking disappointment with others, we are inviting refreshment within ourselves and our closest relationships as we leave room for the best things.
God is pleased with me because of His Son Jesus, not because of what I do for Him.We are not made acceptable to God by our good deeds, or how busy we are, or how much we are serving. Jesus is who made us right before God, and we can't do a single thing to make God approve of us more. We can, however, make choices with our yes and no that make more time to know God's great love for us.
I will notice more often the sweet moments of peace and joy in life when I am not rushing around doing so many good things that are not the best things.It has always annoyed me a bit that my sons and husband insist I cut their hair instead of going to a barber. I am usually rushing around with a million things to do when that familiar request comes, "I need a haircut!"
My relationships will actually improve.My African friends taught me to take time with people. When we sit down and take a proper look at each other, listening and sharing life, life itself becomes rich. We aren’t alone anymore. We give care and receive care in times of need. And isn’t that what we are longing for?
The work I do accomplish is actually of a higher quality when I have said no to the clamor and yes to the best.We all know the satisfaction that comes from having the freedom to work on a task with full focus and attention. Reducing the commitment clutter from life facilitates better work in life's yes’s.
I will know deeper peace with God and learn His will for my life.When we wait and carefully consider our options before committing, we place our souls in a posture of listening before God for His best for our lives.
Others need my example; in fact, in secret they are wishing someone would stand up and just set a boundary.Have you ever met a woman who knows her limits? She can be annoying, can’t she? Surrounded by mystery, she somehow knows how to manage her life, exposing our own overcommitment and exhaustion. Inside we want to be like her, we want to learn the secret of healthy boundaries. When you learn to choose the best from all the good, you are leading someone else to health too.
We can confidently let our yes be yes, and our no be no while we watch life within our healthy boundaries flourish.
How have you managed to choose the best? Be sure to leave your insights on choosing the best from the good in the comments section below!
I will disappoint people with my no, but I will refresh myself and my family when I stand by it. (Click to Tweet)