I’m going to be completely honest with you.
It’s possible some may get offended, but the teacher in me wants to share information.
I’ve tended to stray away from posts that would ruffle feathers, but it’s hard to teach wholeness when you leave things out.
When an opportunity is presented, especially at no cost, your response communicates volumes. I’m going to share what the majority of conclusions are and why – with my own words and from my perspective – so it’s relatable.
1️⃣Yes or no.
This tells me you’ve take the time to determine what you prioritize in your life. No is not a negative response to the invitation. It simply communicates that you have things more important. That’s ok. I won’t even cover the yes because it’s a yes 👍🏼
2️⃣ I don’t have time.
Everyone has time for what they find important. Time is usually not the issue. If it really is, then no (or I can’t) is the proper response. As a wife, mother, pastor, and leader of 3 ministries who just finished a manuscript and has a full-time job, usually the response, “I don’t have time” is an insult. I make time for my family. My alone time with God comes above everything. It’s by the grace of God and His wisdom that I have time to do what He’s given me. We all have time. The question is “do or don’t you want to.”
3️⃣ Yes, but then don’t show up.
Being a leader in ministries, this is one of the toughest things I’ve had to deal with. There’s a crowd of folks who complain when something “Christian” has a charge, but the truth is, many don’t appreciate the free. I’m not talking about the Gospel. No one sells the Gospel. It’s free and available to any and all that want it – let’s be real. Between churches, free Bibles, evangelism, relationships, social media, YouTube, etc, there’s TONS of free out there if someone wants it.
But when someone accepts an invite for something free and doesn’t show up (with no contact to who they have their word to) or repeatedly doesn’t show up when they’ve committed, it speaks volumes. There’s a lack of honor and respect. I have more thoughts, but those are more my own about how it makes me feel, so I won’t say those.
What all this boils down to is authenticity. Know who you are and be who you are. You can explain your yes or no. I’ve had people tell me no and explain why. It always boils down to “I have priorities.” I respect that. You’re communicating what matters to you and that helps me love you better.
I’ve recently learned to say no more and I’ve learned something from it. People tend to understand. They don’t get upset. I had someone who did get upset once, but that’s because they didn’t know me enough to not take it personally. Thats ok.
So, what’s the point of all this?
If you truly believe you don’t have time, you’re doing something wrong. Especially if you don’t work or have kids. I don’t say that to be mean or insult, I’m simply stating facts. The problem isn’t that you don’t have time. It’s that you don’t want to or don’t have your priorities straight.
If your priorities are to watch Netflix for hours a day, then own that. You don’t have to tell people that’s what you prefer to do, but it’s not that you don’t have time. It’s that you prefer to watch TV.
Take a look at what’s important to you. Focus on those things, and selectively spend times on other things, but only if it doesn’t take away from your priorities.
And as for #3. There are times when you commit and then can’t (literally) attend. That’s happened to me. You must call whoever you committed to and let them know. The other day I was going to be late to physical therapy by 5 minutes. I still called and told them I was running late. They deserved to know. I honor them, their talent, and their time. And that wasn’t even free. The concept still applies.
If you’ve read through this long post, thank you for caring enough to learn. I’m not perfect, but I know my standard – Jesus.
I’ve heard some say to me “but, I’m not you. You want me to be you.” No. That’s not true. I’m not perfect AND I strongly believe that everyone has their own personalities. Don’t be me, be you. But when it comes to integrity, I’m not asking you to be me. I’m asking you to try and be like Jesus. I fail all the time, but I’m not the standard. He is. I don’t expect anyone to get it right all the time. God knows I don’t. Be truth is truth.
Be honest. Be vulnerable. Know who you are. Strive to become more and more like Jesus, so that you can reflect God well.
with much love,