Every Yes Involves a No
Glynnis Whitwer

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it.” Luke 14:28 (NIV)

So, how are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions? If you are like many of us, frustration has set in. Maybe you are already behind on your read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. Are the numbers on the scale increasing, rather than decreasing? Did that goal to reduce television watching stop when American Idol started?

While we love to set goals, and dream of becoming a slimmed down, spiritually mature and more well-read version of ourselves, the living out of those goals is infinitely more challenging.

That’s because every time we set a goal for ourselves, a more appealing alternative is presented. Have you noticed this phenomenon? Just as you decide to diet, someone brings you a plate of brownies they “baked just for you.” As soon as you decide to get up early and pray, the cold weather makes it much more appealing to stay in bed. And that decision to stop gossiping gets challenged when some interesting news about your boss finds its way to your inbox.

Every good intention will be met with a challenge at some point. Without a plan, most of us will abandon those intentions, telling ourselves we knew we couldn’t _________ (fill in the blank).

The reason this happens is we overlook the fact that every “yes” we say, requires a “no” to something else. Without that understanding, we operate outside of how life works, and underestimate the cost of achieving our goals.

Here’s an example of what I mean. When you say “yes” to reading your Bible every day, you have to say “no” to the morning news or your favorite novel. If you say “yes” to teaching a small group of women, you’ll say “no” to your favorite Tuesday night tv show, plus free time to prepare.

There will always be a sacrifice of something when we desire to move forward in an area of our lives. Goals are exciting. Possibility of change is alluring. Sacrifice is hard, but worth it in the big picture of our lives. In fact, it’s the road Jesus called His followers to walk daily.

The resolutions you set at the beginning of the year have great value if they are helping you grow into a more disciplined, mature follower of Christ. However, if you feel like you’ve reached a plateau, or hit a dead end, perhaps it’s time to evaluate if you’ve said enough “no’s.”

I invite you to remove the “New Year’s” label, and reevaluate the goals you set in January. Recommit to them and consider what you’ll have to sacrifice to make them happen. The good news about sacrifice is we serve a Lord who lived it out on our behalf. When we are frustrated with the cost of achieving our goals, we can always turn to the One who understands.

Dear Lord, I praise You and thank You for sacrificing Your son, Jesus, so I could live forever with You. In light of that, help me keep my sacrifices in perspective. I ask for Your strength to fulfill the dreams and goals You have placed in my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

Visit Glynnis’ blog for some tips on setting goals

Work at Home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home by Glynnis Whitwer

P31 Woman magazine

Application Steps:
Identify one goal you have for yourself. What do you need to say “no” to for that to happen? Write down the “no’s” for future reference when you get off track.

What mental battles happen when you decide to sacrifice one thing for another?

What are some ways you can keep your commitment to your goals fresh and realistic?

Power Verses:
Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (NIV)

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (NIV)

© 2010 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Lorraine Furtner said...

What a simple truth--yet one I have consistently overlooked in my own life. Notice that the opposite is also true. Every time that we say yes to that doughnut instead of the healthy choice, yes to that tv show instead of the Bible study, yes to an extra hour of sleep instead of going to church....we are saying no to our commitments and no to God. Next time these opportunities come up, it will be easier for me to stay on the right path. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous Linda said...

I needed this devotional today. Thank you for writing it. It was a good reminder (a timely one) to keep on with my goals. I need to continue watching what I eat & excecising as well as keep on trying to find time to pray and read HIS Word each day. Even if I miss a day that shouldn't be reason to quit altogether, no I should try again the next day. Have a great day!

Anonymous Kay said...

I needed this post, I have always had troubles saying no to good people in my life. I will start over again today, to keep the main thing the main thing.. obeying God, serving God.. loving God. The power verses are just the truth I need. OK here goes the test!!
Hope to see you tomorrow.

Blogger mary said...

Wow this was powerful! It was what I need to be reminded of this morning! Thank you
Blessings & Peace Mary

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I joined a weight loss challenge with a friend 2 months ago. God has blessed me and I am succeeding. Today is the finale and my friend refuses to go. I will forward this devotion to her. I don't want to lecture her, it is not my right to judge. I just hurt for her that she gave up already. Don't worry about anything in our lives just PRAY. God Is Good!

Blogger Mandy said...

Thanks for writing this. It certainly hit home with me and was a good reminder that life is really made up of small choices that when combined can make a big difference.

Blogger Domestic Goddess said...

Thank you for this great, thought-provoking devotional! I liked it so much I blogged about it AND passed it on to my husband. This really encouraged me and reminded me to set my eyes on God's path, not my own. Yes to Him, no to me. Simple as that, right? :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this up. It exactly what I needed today.I am in a Bible study and I have slacked off for very good reasons but now is the day to get back on track. Thanks. Praising God that He lets us get back on track.

Blogger MrsLouis01 said...

Awesome reminder for me as I have been making different sacrifices but keep "failing" in completing these things. Thank you for helping a fellow sister in Christ to re-focus.

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