Daily Practices for Lent: Day 16

cropped-photo-3.jpgYes, it’s a word of movement and action. It is a word that makes a commitment and compels a person to show up with intention, purpose and reliability. Yes, is a good word.

No, it’s a word also of movement and action. It is a word that makes a commitment and compels a person to not show up with the same purpose and reliability. No, is a good word.

Yes is an easy word for me to say. In fact, I believe yes was the easiest word for me to say for some time. Yes was a word that I felt showed honor, care, love and friendship. Yes felt like a word that revealed how much I cared about a person, group or cause. I said yes to so many things and people that I ended up with no room in my schedule and would be stretched beyond capacity.

No for many years was a very difficult word for me to say. I felt that it did the opposite of yes. I felt to say no meant that I was telling a person, group or cause that I didn’t value them, didn’t care about their cause, didn’t show love or friendship and most certainly didn’t bring honor or care. No felt harsh and I felt it ended things that I didn’t want to end. No felt like a word that disappointed. I now believe the opposite. No, brings honor, just as yes does, for no, creates space, honors the person asking by being honest and not over scheduling. No, cares for others by being a person of my word. No, builds trust.

I have found that many people today do not use either yes or no. Most say, “Let me check” or “maybe” or “that’s a good idea” or “I might.” Commitments are challenging for people who are often wondering if something better will come up or if they potentially could feel like they are missing out.

Jesus speaks of this in Matthew 5 where he encourages people to let their yes be yes and no be no. John speaks of this in Revelation, ” I know your deeds they are neither hot or cold…” The actions of the church at Laodicea were neither yes! I’m in. Nor were they, NO! I’m out. They were wishy washy, lukewarm and noncommittal. Yes and no matter. Yes and no, help us know Jesus. For what we say yes to, we look at, press into and move towards and what we say no to, we look away. Either way, decisive action takes place.

Today’s practice is: Say Yes or say No

Make a list of all the things you have committed to with a yes. How has your life been shaped by your yeses. Make a list also of those things to which you have said no. How have your nos shaped you? How has saying yes to Jesus and his invitations in your life shaped your life?

As you go throughout your day today pay attention to the times you have been asked to be involved in something or invited to attend something or give to something or…

How do you naturally want to answer? Is there fear around saying yes or no? Pay attention to where fear or questions or doubt enter. What is the root of those feelings? Ask Jesus to guide you as you say yes or no. Entrust your commitments to Him and ask Him to guide you as you answer.

Listen: He Leadeth Me

Pray: Father thank you for the gift of Jesus. I pray that today I would say yes to him. I pray that in my words and actions and in my thoughts I would say yes to his words, life and love for me. I pray that as I trust HIM that He would enable me to walk as one who believes that  He would lead me. I ask that as I am led that I would faithfully say yes and no in response to the various invitations I receive throughout my days. Grow in me trust in you as I am led. Amen

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