Saying “Yes”

Posted: April 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

Last week, I posted about the fine art of “No” and learning to say no. This begs the question, when should you say “Yes.” I maintain there are a couple of things to consider. The first of which is, have you prayed about it? Most of the rest of this post will deal with the idea of staying on mission and that is hugely important, as is knowing your gifts, talents and abilities, but there is an unknown quantity in all of this, and it’s huge. What is God doing? Is God calling you away from what is comfortable to do a new thing in your life. For years, I said no to anything that would put me up in front of people to speak. I was a mobile DJ for a while in my young adult years, but to get up the courage to stand before people to speak required a lot of alcohol, and when I came to Christ (and the sobriety that came with Him), it wasn’t long before the DJ business was over. I was terrified to speak in public. What I realize now is that when God was nudging me toward ministry, he started with some very small speaking things, like VBS skits. I really had to fight my fear to do these things, but prayer revealed that I should do it. Today I travel all over speaking (well I did before COVID and I hope to again soon) and pastoring a church and it is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life. My instinct was to say no, but I am really glad I said yes.

Beside prayer, (and no I am not removing prayer from any of these other “equations”) it is important to know your your skill set. I remember when I was trying to be a full time freelance, I would take virtually any artwork. To be sure there is nothing wrong with trying things, but sometimes we have to realize our limitations. I got one freelance job painting backgrounds for a wealthy animation cell collector. He wanted me to paint reproductions of backgrounds from classic Disney films. I researched, found out what media to use (one I had never used before) and even worked from a sketch from the original film. I failed repeatedly and what I finally delivered was terrible. I should have said no. On the other hand I found a local tourist attraction that needed a painter to refurbish their displays and make new one. It was stylistically perfect for me, and we had a great relationship and they gave me a lot of work. Part of knowing what to say yes to is knowing what you already do and do well.

Perhaps the main thing in knowing when to say yes, is knowing your mission. Before I take on a project, I will often ask myself questions based on my personal mission, which is to help the church to embrace creativity and help creatives to embrace the church. Will this project help me to do one of those two things. This allows me to say yes to most of the speaking things I am offered and the workshops I do. It also allows me to say yes to things that allow me to make art that connects me with other artists and allows me to build relationships. When I decided to pursue a doctorate, it was largely because the research project involved is the create a creative ministry course, which really excites me and falls right into my mission.

The last thing that determines whether I say yes or no, is something we all need to consider. It is time and this is urgent in the yes/no debate. You have only so many hours in a day and how you spend them matters because you cannot get them back. There are non negotiables in this. You have relationships that need to be nurtured, especially those with your spouse and children. Do not neglect them because you can’t say no. You also need to maintain your health. People sacrifice sleep and good health on the altar of their dreams and that is a huge mistake. You have one body and one life, be wise. You need to earn a living so if what you do doesn’t pay the bills it needs to come behind what does. Most importantly, you must nurture your relationship with God. Say yes to Him first and He will help you to keep everything else in proper perspective.

Saying yes is a wonderful thing, but do it wisely.

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