Practical Pointers for Yes and No

July 23rd, 2013
flickr | Eddie Does Japan

Using two little words effectively—yes and no—can transform your life. Here are tools to help you be effective and thrive in your responses:

Evaluate the situation in terms of pros and cons. What are some likely outcomes if you say yes or no? Do you have the information you need to make a wise decision?

Consult. Identify a few spiritually mature people who might have gone through a similar situation. Do they advise a yes or no response? If you trust them to speak into your life, carefully consider their counsel.

Consider the consequences.

In terms of time commitment, do you have enough time to follow through on your decision?

If the question is financial, do you have enough money to say yes to this? If you do not have the money, you should probably say no. What will it cost you later if you say no? What will it cost you later if you do not say no?

In terms of relational impact, whose lives will be altered or influenced by your no? Are they in agreement with you? Do you have their support? How will this affect your relationships with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others?

How will this decision impact one or more of your life priorities? Can you implement healthy relational boundaries? What are the possible results of this decision?

Pray and read Scripture. Talk to God about this decision that needs to be made, and ask for guidance. Maybe you are sensing a yes or no deep within your spirit. Listening for God’s voice means you need to find space for some quiet in your life.

Does your decision align with Scripture? In the classic The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah Whitall Smith addresses a relationship between our inner impressions, feelings, or what she calls “leadings”: “It is essential . . . that our ‘leadings’ should all be tested by the teaching of Scripture. But this alone is not enough. They must be tested as well by our own spiritually enlightened judgment, or what is familiarly called ‘common sense.’”

Sleep on it. Seriously. Sleep before you act. Perspective is an amazing thing. A night of sleep can change everything. You have fresh eyes, more energy, less emotion, and the advantage of living with your decision for twenty-four hours before you act on it.

excerpt from: Thrive: Live Like You Matter by Lisa Toney Copyright©2013 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission. Order information below.

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