Hi, David here.
Some of you may have watched the Vicar of Dibly of TV. One of the main characters Jim, has an unfortunate but very funny stammer, that begins with ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes . . . , No!’ , or the other way round. What he means to say is ‘No’, but he starts with ‘Yes’. The reason this is so funny, is that we all recognise why we say ‘yes’ when we really want to say ‘no’, but we feel obliged, or duty bound to help. But why? How does this happen?
Earlier this week, Rob described this yes and no dilemma this way:
I heard a quote from Rob Bell the other day that went something like this; “You don’t know what to say no to until you know what you’re saying yes to.” For example, if I have said ‘yes’ to saving up for a family holiday, I’m going to say ‘no’ to spending money on a house extension. That’s a relatively straightforward choice but most of the choices we face are more relational and messy than that. Do you invite your aging parents to come and live with you? Do you help your dysfunctional friend with a loan? Do you commit yourself to leading a small group or is your heart leaning towards helping young people? Then there are the choices where people ask us to rescue them: Can you pick my kid up? Can you come round right now, I need you? What a maze! We need Jesus to help us urgently.
Sometimes it’s not necessarily about opportunity cost, yes OR no. Sometimes it can be both, one or the other, or neither. Sometimes it can be liberating to say, no.
Some questions for you this week:
1. How may things can you say ‘yes’ to in your life? Is there a number? Do you have any ‘yes’ left?
2. What would happen if you said, ‘no’?
3. Try saying, ‘no’ for a day – how much time does it give you?
4. Jesus didn’t seem to have trouble saying, ‘no’. What is the trouble for us?
May you my brothers and sisters, appreciate the balance this week of the yes and the no. Use your judgement, use your discretion, be kind, and see what you need to say ‘no’ to. If you are full of too much ‘yes’, turn some of them into ‘no’. May you remember that Jesus said ‘no’ too and that you only have to do what you can find.