Our lives are busy. Chaotic. We jump from one task to another and still manage to waste time on our electronic devices. We are multitaskers, over committed and under delivering on a regular basis. We have to learn the art of the PAUSE. Some may refer to it as mindfulness, but at the end of the day it is a hesitation. That pause allows us an opportunity to process. This is especially important when we are thinking of committing ourselves to something.
There are many things we try to commit to that are more about making others happy with us or us happy with ourselves. We have a tendency to try to fit in and please people. Think about what you are committed to. Why are you committed (or wanting to commit) to this venture?
Part of commitment requires being committed to ourselves and our spiritual walk. It means taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others. Think about it. If you have ever been on an airplane they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first. If you can’t breathe, you are no good to someone else. Consider the commitment before you give a yes.
“If the person you are trying so hard not to disappoint will be displeased by a no, they’ll eventually be disappointed even if you say yes.“
Lysa TerKeurst (From her blog “What If I Say No and They Stop Liking Me?” received in my inbox on September 23, 2016)
A person committed is not necessarily a person plugged into EVERYTHING. Some people can juggle a job, family and like 10 other obligations. Then there are people like us who can master the job, hold our family down and maybe…with a lot of grace, handle two more responsibilities. Some of us thrive on the pressure of being over-obligated. Still others just want to make people happy so they continue to say yes…to everything.
STOP IT ALREADY. You know your limits. If taking on that small extra task is too much, be honest and say so. If your heart is not in your volunteer work, trust me it is showing to someone. Let me put it this way. I grew up hearing “Let not your good be evil spoken of:” (Romans 14:16). I am guilty of having no clue this was a scripture until well into my adult years. My grandparents and my parents said this many, many times to me. See Sue is a bit of a people pleaser. I want to be liked. Who doesn’t? I want to be of good use. I am really not good at small talk and being idle. I need to be engaged. It was not uncommon of me to have really great intentions and everything somehow going wrong. Part of this came from going in too many directions at once.
I am still guilty of going in a lot of directions, but I have learned to rein it in. I am learning the art of saying “no”. I have also learned to place limitations on commitments that I know may overlap. I want to be engaged and involved…committed. I think you do too. (Why else would you be reading this?) So evaluate things and breath.
That is the tip for today. Take a pause before you jump into something. Tell the person asking, “Let me pray about it” or “I need to think on it”. Give yourself an opportunity to evaluate exactly what you are agreeing too. PAUSE. Ask a few questions of yourself:
- Do I want to do this?
- Is God leading me to do this? (If the answer here is yes, you know what to do.)
- Do I have time, considering other responsibilities, to do this?
Start with three questions. Trust me more will bubble up as you consider the commitment you are weighing. I will give you an example.
I went to the meeting for connect group leaders for “information purposes”. I already knew the type of connect group I wanted to lead, but did not think now was the time. As I sat in the meeting, it became very clear the good Lord had plans I needed to get on board with. An hour later, I had signed up to be a connect group leader…NOW. In this scenario, I wanted to do this. I had lots of ideas. In fact, all those ideas were one of my reasons for stalling to next term. I wanted plenty of time to plan and organize the “perfect” connect group plan. The question of is God leading me to this, sealed the deal – He was, I listened. Lastly the time consideration is concerning. My connect group is scheduled for alternating weeks. Other questions came up concerning cost, getting my husband and child out of the house and a series of what-ifs. In the end it was the right decision to commit to being a connect group leader right now. (Just hope my group feels the same.)
Don’t say yes to everything. Don’t say no, just because it’s easy or you are lazy. PAUSE. Take a little time to evaluate your commitments. Trust me, you will be so much happier for it.