Peace for Pride

Do you struggle to tell people no? Are you always finding yourself busy not because you don’t have a choice, but because you choose to do everything everyone asks you to do?

You’re on a committee that has to find someone to lead a women’s Bible study one night a week for the next twelve weeks. Does someone’s face pop into your mind immediately to ask? Does this face belong to someone who’s known for saying yes or no when asked to fill a volunteer position?

If I had to guess, I would guess that they already have two or more volunteer jobs. They came to your mind not because they’re the most qualified or the one God is calling to fill the position, but because they are known for saying yes when asked to fill a role.

Now, think about the individual that your entire committee truly believes is called by God to lead this Bible study. Someone has mentioned this position to them in passing. They didn’t bite. Not even a nibble of interest. Do you volunteer to go talk to them about taking the position or do you simply recommend going straight to the person you know will say yes?

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” Lucille Ball

I’ve heard the first line of that quote for years. I’ve been the person asked to do a lot of things. I’ve been the person people ask because I’ll say yes. Yes, I can get a lot of things done. Especially at the last minute.

Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8

I start a lot of things. I say yes, quite frequently. And then I can never figure out how to say finished.

Guilt. That’s the word I’ve used in the past. I would feel guilty for quitting. Leaving people without a leader, without someone to _____________, without someone capable of filling my shoes.

If God would provide a replacement. Call someone else to take this job. Maybe then I would feel like I could walk away without feeling guilty.

These are the lies I’ve been accepting.

Yes, lies.

See, the truth is I like being needed. I like people asking me to do things, to lead things, to help them. Why?

Because it makes me feel important.

Quitting doesn’t make me feel guilty–it makes me feel less.

Therefore I never finish anything. I just keep doing it forever. Past its season, past my calling, past the point I’m effective, until I reach burnout. And then instead of being finished, I quit.

Some of the things I say yes to are because I’m trying to force things to happen. Force a promotion, a next step in ministry, a friendship, an event, anything that furthers my agenda.

You can make many plans, but the Lord ’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 29:21

I’ve been struggling with some commitments I’ve made. I knew months ago, ok, probably when I said yes, that I needed to be finished with these positions. I’ve hashed and rehashed all the guilt and prideful reasons that I need to hold on to these commitments. For months.

Anxiety, frustration, stress. That is all I have been getting from the commitments. Well, I also get some pay from one of them.

Six days in to this 10-Day Do Over Challenge, I smiled as I typed my resignations. No anxiety. No second guessing. Joy.

I just found freedom and more time to chase my dream.

Are you holding on to things out of pride that you need to be finished with? Are you missing out on chasing your dream because you’re too busy chasing anything and everything that might someday help you get somewhere?

What if I told you being finished with the unproductive stuff could turn your pride into peace? How fast would you turn in those resignation letters? Who would you call to celebrate the weight lifted from your chest?

I dare you to prune one unproductive thing from your life today. What are you going to be finished with? Let’s chase our dreams together this year.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. This was so easy to relate to. I've been thinking over this a lot recently, especially about myself.

    Reply

  2. I agree with this being easy to relate to. I have a whole list of things that I've been asked to do or assist with I think I will go through it and decide what I can really accomplish

    Reply

  3. This really speaks to me – not necessarily from the perspective of what others expect or ask of me, but rather the rules and tasks I've set up for myself because I think some day they'll pay off. Perhaps they will – or perhaps it's time to reevaluate how I spend my time! Thanks for this thoughtful post.

    Reply

  4. Gosh, Carrie! We are too much alike! I had to find balance because the Lord has blessed me with many gifts and talents. I'm pulled in so many directions and I see where things can improve and I'm just the person to “help”. I was so burned out… Thanks for the post. I can truly relate!

    Reply

  5. Wow, you are really speaking to me today! My college daughter and I have been discussing this a lot lately: how to say no. When to say no. We both bolster each other up when we're together, but then it's harder to say no when the moment has passed, and we are face to face with difficult decisions. But I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with this!!

    Reply

  6. I don't usually pursue people when they don't bite. I am usually one of those people who says “yes” to everything and prefers to be constantly busy. It is only since having my first daughter that I learned to start saying “no” when things really are too much for me to take on.

    Reply

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