I Blog For Books

19 January 2009

When You Can't Say No

Most of us have them, those buttons that can be so easily pushed. Mine seems to be a combination of "help/guilt". Yes, I want to help .. and I feel guilty if I can't or don't .. or heaven forbid .. don't want to. (written 9 Sep 07)

You know the phrases, maybe you've even used them. "Would you mind", "since you're going", "could you", "can you help me out?" ... it seems as if there are many occasions when someone needs you. I have a very difficult time telling someone no when they ask for my help. It doesn't seem to matter whether or not I have time, if it takes me out of my way, if it adds one more task to the list I already have; if someone asks for my help, I almost always give it.

Discussing this topic with two of my best friends (my oldest daughter and my cousin), we came to the conclusion that it must be genetic since we all have the same problem. Flipping the coin, we found even MORE similarities. While always willing to help, it seems as if we also get the same response on those rare occasions we ask someone for something ... if we get a yes, it's a grudging one. Usually, and almost without exception, it's a no that doesn't seem to bother the respondent at all. Never mind that we've gone out of our way for them at times, never mind the fact that we almost always will do just about anything they ask of us. If we ask for help, it is rarely, if ever, there. We find ourselves, on those rare occasions that we break down and ask someone for something, phrasing it in an almost joking manner so that we can laugh off the "no", or worse, the total disregard for the fact that we've even asked.

Take a look at your cell phone, or rolodex, or address book ... the place you store the numbers of family, friends, and acquaintances. Now take a look again. How many of those, without fail, would help if you asked? From that list, I can count on one hand the number of people that I could absolutely, at any time and for any reason, depend on to be there for me.

The one I can ALWAYS count on, no matter the time, the place, or the reason, isn't listed in my cell phone. God is always there ... listening to me (and for me), watching, protecting and loving me. When I need someone I can depend on, He is there. Isn't it nice to know that you have that certainty? If you don't, I encourage you to talk to God today. Ask Him to be your friend, confidant, protector, and guide. It won't use any "minutes on your plan", and the "call" is always free. What will He ask in return? Simply that we love one another as we love Him. To receive all this? Ask Jesus into your life, and believe.

Thank you, God, for being there for me. For listening, and for guiding me in the way I need to go. Though I struggle at times, and stray from your path, You are always there to gently show me my errors and give me loving direction. May I never be too busy for a friend, may I always be willing to listen. Help me to see that giving of myself is what you would have me to do.

"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you." ~2 Corinthians 9:11,12,14 NIV

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