Just Say No

Years ago when my children were much younger I had a serious problem. There was one word I was unable to utter when asked to help out, participate in or head up a program.

You know the word: No.

I ran Vacation Bible School for 2 years straight, taught Sunday School, led Bible studies. I was all up in the school’s PTO, ran the prep sales and hauled cheerleaders to every football & basketball game for years. I volunteered through the Junior League and taught at the Christian Women’s Job Corp. Yep, I was busy, busy BUSY!


I’m not touting my resume so you’ll think I was some kind of awesome multi-tasker because honestly many days and/or nights I was just flat-out exhausted. Exhausted from the time commitments, the problems, the feeling that there was always more to do.

My self-justification sounded something like this: “If I don’t do it, who will?”

Then a friend shared this little acronym with me: BUSY is Being Under Satan’s Yoke.

You see, if satan can’t get you to be bad, he’ll get you to be busy. And we think because we are super involved in church or school it’s all good. I couldn’t say no to something at church – well, that’s just un-Christian! And only the parents like me who really care about the school get involved in
the PTO.

At least that’s what I used to think.

Age brings wisdom. These days before I commit to something I actually pray first (Lord, is this what you want me to be involved in?) instead of last (Lord, why did I say yes? Please get me out of this!) and I am much less stressed, much more fulfilled. I’ve learned that just because something is a good cause does not mean I have to be all up in it. Satan will use “good” distractions to take your focus off of what God’s will for your life is and get you so tired and strung out you couldn’t see God’s will for your life even if He texted it straight to you during a meeting on the upcoming church bake sale or school fundraiser (“Hey Leigh, it’s God. Wish you had asked me first…).

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Jesus does not want you exhausted. And I’ve learned I’m not nearly as effective for Jesus if I’m doing 12 tasks halfway in a constant state of exhaustion. I’m better off committing to one or two and going all in with my energy and enthusiasm.

Pray about your schedule, your commitments. Commit to the ones to which you hear the Holy Spirit leading you. Then let the rest go and trust me – others will come along to take your place and carry on the good work you started.


You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.


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