We’ve been talking about these two words for the last two days. These words are yours to use as you please. My hope is that over the last two days, and with what we discuss today, you will have enough information and a renewed sense of permission to begin using these words with freedom, and without guilt or shame.
In case you’ve missed the last two days here are the links (Part 1, Part 2). For the last two days we’ve talked about the instances in which you can/should say “NO” and feel no guilt or shame. However, there is another word that is yours to be used and will set you free to live with joy and purpose if you use it properly. The word is… “Yes.”
Before we look at the three times you can/should say “Yes” and enjoy it, let me make a caveat: “Yes” does not guarantee giggles and sunshine.
Sometimes we must say “Yes” to things that are painful for a while so that we can accomplish greater things that will bring us joy! Some illustrations of this principle:
- The pain of becoming debt free always comes before the joy of debt-free living!
- The pain of losing weight and building muscle always comes before the joy of a strong, healthy body.
- The pain of fear and rejection always comes before a successful business.
You get the point. But in case you don’t check this blog post out.
OK, here are three times that you can/should say “Yes” and enjoy it!
#1 You should say and enjoy your “Yes” when you have planned for it.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to prosperity….” This is true not only financially but relationally, spiritually, physically, etc. If you want to have margin (i.e. extra) then you must create and diligently work a plan.
I have found that unplanned generosity often causes unnecessary pain. For instance, I’ve seen people make a “spur of the moment” decision to give an offering based on emotion. I’ve also seen those checks come back… bounced. The problem was not the heart… it was a lack of margin! Their emotions wrote a check their reality could not cash!
If you don’t have it… you can’t give it! BUT if you have it then you can give it… and enjoy every second of it!
This principle is true for money, time, energy, relationships, etc. If you plan for it you will have it. If you have it you can give it, if you wish, and enjoy it!
#2You should say and enjoy your “Yes” if you have adequate margin.
This principle builds on the first one = if you have planned for it, say “Yes” and enjoy it! This principle simply means that you have it now. The plan has worked!
Look, you can’t give what you don’t have! This insight comes from St. Paul:
If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. (2 Corinthians 8:12
True, he was writing specifically about money here, but the principle applies to all areass of life. If you don’t have time, energy, skills, etc. to give… then you should say “NO” (see our conversations from the last two days). What God wants is for you to give “what you have, not what you don’t have.”
If you don’t have it, say “No” and don’t be ashamed. If you have it, say “Yes” and enjoy it! You planned for it, you’ve created margin and now you can say “Yes” without it being destructive to your life!
Remember this quote from Cloud and Townsend, “It is more responsible to give out of our resources than to promise that which we might not be able to deliver.”
#3 You should say and enjoy your “Yes” if there is joy somewhere in the process.
Remember the caveat, “‘Yes’ does not guarantee giggles and sunshine”? Well, there’s some small print to that caveat and it is this, your “Yes” may not bring IMMEDIATE joy, but it should lead to eventual joy.
Jesus was a key illustration of this principle. The Bible book of Hebrews gives a key insight here as it talks about Jesus:
He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)
The shame of the death walk… not fun. The pain of death… no giggles there. BUT the joy of seeing people forgiven and changed… that made the “Yes” worth it!
Another key Bible verse that helps us understand this principle comes from St. Paul in a letter he wrote to a group of Christians that was preparing to give an offering:
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)
If your “Yes” is the result of manipulation, arm-twisting, “compulsion”, etc. you will quickly find… there’s no joy in this “Yes.” For the person though who has a plan, has created margin, and is willing, if necessary, to endure a bit of pain to experience the joy of “Yes”… there are good things to come!
This brings to mind Dave Ramsey’s famous line, “Live now like no one else, so that someday you can live like no one else.” In other words, say “yes” to the pain of sacrifice today so that you can say “yes” to the promise of abundance tomorrow!
OK, that’s it! Two words that can set you free… now go and use them!