Let Your Yes Be Yes… and Your No Be No.

By: Susan Browning

I’m a planner. I like order. I thrive when structure is around me. But lately God’s been reshaping flexibility in my life. Actually, let’s rephrase that…. because it hasn’t even been that recent. It’s been this gradual life inclination to a spontaneous life and each level I’ve been stretched and it’s been uncomfortable. And then I find order and I breathe and I’m happy until the next “can we reschedule?” appears before us.

I feel like we are in an ongoing state of perpetual cancellations – I’m not sure if it’s because I am getting older or if this seemingly is actually getting more frequent! But I asked around and it seems to be a trending pattern in my social circles – I wonder what is this phenomenon that allows us to be so careless with our commitments? That whatever appears more exciting, more important or perhaps even too overwhelming in the moment, means we are quick to cancel. Does it come down to how we said our Yes in the first place?

Our family runs with “Let your yes be yes and your no be no” (ref: Matt 5:37). But balancing Yes is hard work – it requires diligence, wisdom and sometimes when life happens we have to give way to a no or admit we’ve once again overcommitted ourselves. I’ve been learning to be wise with my Yes. Some weeks I get it so right and others I’ve given my yes away like free candy to anyone who will take it. However, there is a flow on effect, an exhaustion and a tendency to promise it won’t happen again (except that I forget and we arrive there once again!), that next time I’ll get better at saying Yes to free time, or to family time, or to me time.

Perhaps you can relate too… are you overcommitting yourself? We panic and then we clear the way to make room for space we wish we’d put there in the first place. We have to get good at keeping space in our diary so our yes remains yes in the first place. We need to steward our yes’ well. Which means getting intentional from the outset.

Reality meets expectation though can be a cavern of wonder… we genuinely believe we’ll be able to fulfil all these obligations and commitments. Yet the reality attached to our Yes is costly to our selves and to others. When we flit from one thing to another and are not intentional about our yes, not only do we begin to crave breaks (or develop a habit of cancelling), we begin to forget to honour one another in the process and loose ourselves a little too.

Sweet one, we need to be better guardians of our time and place value on the people we commit to. We need to make room for our own state of health and mind so we are able to have capacity to follow through on the Yes we chose to give to another. We need to be doing life a bit better than “I didn’t feel like it” texts a few hours before hand. Stewardship isn’t found in making commitments and perpetually breaking them; Stewardship is found in intentional living and seeing beyond into the lives of the people you are impacting. It also speaks loudly into how you manage your time and your heart. So sweet one, how are you giving away your Yes – with intention or flippancy?

Article supplied with thanks to Susan Browning.

About the Author: Susan is a worship leader, vocal coach and mentor encouraging you to be all you can be in fulfilling your purpose.