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  • Writer's pictureVickie Sargent-Kler

I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say NO

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

I confess that I’m just a girl who can’t say no. Don’t get the wrong idea here, I’m not that kind of girl, I’m a Pastor’s wife! But really if you are working on a project I will be right there. Whether it’s my husband, one of my two kids, or really anyone who barely asks, I am their girl. Big jobs or small ones I seem to have no limit. I chalk it up to these three reasons.

One: I love to be helpful

Two: I have a deep interest in a lot of different things

Three: I have a serious need to be busy

If you remember back a few posts ago I shared with you my organizational ABC plan. I had to come up with that just to keep my head above water and mostly not to lose friends. Because I just can’t say no; and I bet that I am not alone. In fact, most of my friends are just like me. How about you? Do you always find yourself saying yes and then later wondering how that happened? Let’s think about it this way.

My first reason may be a lot like yours; I love to be helpful. If I see someone struggling with a heavy load, my immediate response is to jump up and lend a hand. Sometimes I don’t even wait, to be asked or even ask if I am needed. Being born with a disability has made me need a great deal of help. I needed help to carry books in school; I needed help to get around in the snow, and it was wonderful when someone would just come and help without me even having to ask. Because of the help I received, I enjoy paying it forward. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to do something for someone else for a change. Galatians 6:2 says it best. “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” So if you are guilty (just like me) of being over helpful, here at least is a good reason for doing it! That takes us to number two.

I am interested in music, books, travel, art, and the list goes on and on… So if you come to me and start to tell me about your latest project, you can count on me to be hanging on your every word. And then as my enthusiasm over takes me, I will begin to vibrate with excitement to join you. I just can’t stop myself, believe me, I tried. So the big problem for me is I have way too many interests and way too little time to pursue them! By helping others with their (whatever) I get to experience a plethora of things I might never had the opportunity to do. I also get to learn something new when they share their knowledge about what the venture entails. So in this respect I am in some small way using them instead of them using me. We are both practicing what is said in 1 Timothy 6:18 “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,” I don’t know about you but that goes a long way to making me feel better already! That takes me to number three.

I just have to be busy. I must have a serious mental problem because as much as I claim to want a day to just veg in front of the TV or stay in bed and read all day, I just can’t let myself do it. Oh I have done it. But I haven’t felt very good about it the next day. I get all depressed and think what a waste the past day was and I think about all the things I could have accomplished until I don’t feel well at all. That is why I seem to stay busy. I also think it comes from my childhood when I had leg surgery in first and second grade. With casts on both legs from my toes to the top of my hips, there was a limit to the activity I could do. God blessed me with a desire to be active, that wasn’t very much fun for my mom during this time, but it has been a driving force to keep me moving through all the ups and downs I have experienced. I also think my mother’s work ethics have rubbed off on me. She was responsible for our whole family, she would work 8-hour shifts at a glass factory, then take care of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, run errands for my father’s business, and whether it was a day of fun or a day spent with doctors at the clinic, she always made time for me. That’s probably why I get involved in so many things, and feel like a failure if I am not actively doing something, I sure don’t want to be a slacker in my mother’s eyes. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 talks about the dangers of being idle, many of us have heard the old saying “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” I can tell you my mother never had idle hands. Because I need to always be busy, I have on occasion over promised my time. Which brings me back to the beginning, where I confessed to being a girl who can’t say no, but I believe learning to say no sometimes is a lesson that we all could use.

No matter what our reasons are for saying yes to every person who asks, sometimes we need to say no; even I need to know when enough is enough. Spreading ourselves to thin can only lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. That is why Matthew 5:7 instructs us to “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” This means don’t make excuses if you say yes mean it. Work your hardest and best for them; and if you say no, you need to mean that too. Don’t be wishy-washy and leave them with the impression that you might find time for them. It’s important to realize that you have a choice, just because you have said yes before doesn’t mean you have to say yes this time. Set your priorities, if you are in the middle of something let them know you just don’t have the spare time right now. In the long run everyone will be grateful to you for your honesty. No matter how much you want to be helpful, no matter how interesting the project is, and no matter how many things you believe you can handle at once; sometimes you just have to value your own time and speak up. Let them know how much you appreciate their confidence in you, but remember to let your no mean no. And I guess that goes for me too!

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