It can be really hard to say no. When someone asks if you can or want to do something, (if you’re anything like me) you don’t want to seem like you’re being selfish or turning them and their offer away. Or maybe there’s a hundred different things that you want/need to do or try, whether it’s hobbies, skills, or responsibilities. You’re pulled in so many different directions, and left feeling drained, and in some cases, unfulfilled, even though your time is filled.
When we were students, we knew that school was our priority, along with but not limited to: work, family, friends, and hobbies or interests. But now that we’re free from school, it opens up a whole new world of opportunities and places to devote our time.
To be honest, I struggled and still struggle with both of the examples I gave above. I can almost never say no to anyone when they ask something of me, and I love trying new things all the time. This led to me getting completely burned out to the point where it began affecting my health, and overcommitting the time I did have. I had a really hard time building and strengthening relationships, and wasn’t able to pursue some of the things I truly love to do.
Many times, we must sacrifice by saying no.
Only recently have I begun learning this and applying it to my life. And let me tell you, it’s hard. Sacrifice is so hard because our sinful nature inclines us to be selfish. And it is selfish to try and be and do everything, because after all, we are only human, not God. We put our faith in our own strength and forget our weakness and to seek God’s strength and His will.
So how does sacrifice play into priorities? It’s simple, really. We must sacrifice the things that aren’t true priorities. Look at your own life, and make a list of everything that is important to you and that you’re committed to. Then number them from most important to least important. Take your top five things and evaluate those. How much time do these things take up? Can you reasonable commit to more of the priorities on your list, or do you only need to focus on your top three things? Everyone’s situation is unique, so make sure you evaluate according to your circumstances. Maybe you need to sacrifice a few things because it’s just too much. Maybe you need to sacrifice something you thought was a top priority, but realize there are other things that are more important.
It is okay to say no sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes (seriously, moderation is key in everything). Make sure you don’t sacrifice your time for things that are not as important as others, and be willing to sacrifice some things if they are not true priorities.
Written by Jordyn McGuire