Monday, March 28, 2011

Telling Myself No...

I've been thinking lately.

Deep thinking.  The kind of thinking that requires just too much effort to put into words.

The Bible has me thinking.

Books I'm reading have me thinking.

People around me have me thinking.

Ministry has me thinking.

See, lots of thinking going on.  Lot's of reflecting.  Evaluating.  Observing.  Analyzing.  Changing.

I just finished the book Made to Crave.  It deals with the food issue, yes, but it deals with other stuff on a different level as well.  I may or may not have copied down half the book in quotes because it just spoke to me.

A couple things in particular just won't let go.

She says, "It's not the "how to" I'm missing.  It's the "want to"...really wanting to make changes and deciding that the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice."

I'm not sure I've heard a more truer statement uttered.  It used to be that admitting you had a problem was the first step to overcoming.  From my experience in my own life and in ministry, admitting there's a problem is not difficult at all!  We're fully aware we've got issues, it's the willingness to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, in whatever way God says that we find the issue with.


1 Corinthians 10:23  Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial.

Seriously, read that again.

We live in a culture that doesn't like to tell ourselves "no."  And, from my own observations of myself, and those around me, it is no different in the Christian culture than it is in the world's.  Oh, we like to deceive ourselves into thinking it is.  We've made lists of all the really bad things one can do, and we try our best to stay away from them.  We give ourselves an invisible pat on the back for being such self-sacrificing people...but are we?

Who do we live for?  Who do we live to please?  Do we live as though we understand the truth of God's word when it says, Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial?  Do we seek out His wisdom on this?   Do we tell ourselves no?  Or do we justify?  Do we tell ourselves we deserve to indulge in whatever it is we choose?

I'm good at justification.  Really good.  Unfortunately, justification is really just a nice word for lying-to-myself.

I'm pretty good with excuses too.  And very good with lacking the "want to" in some areas, which I cleverly turn into "I just can't"  but really, "I'm just lazy."

And the past few weeks, I've become disgusted.  I'm not even sure disgusted is a strong enough word for it.  It's as if, through God's Word, the Holy Spirit has shown me the ways in which I've been deceiving as a slave to the whims of my flesh.

And I've had enough.  Enough justifying.  Enough laziness.  Enough excuses.  Enough of telling myself yes, when I should be telling myself no.  I'm tired  of it in myself, and honestly...I'm tired of it in people around me too.  Because it's enslaves each of us.  I can't make people "want to."  I can't.

But I can live as an example of one who surrenders my own will, and puts it in submission to my Heavenly Father's will for me.   I can tell you, that there is such joy and FREEDOM in saying no to myself.

Your issues are likely going to look different than mine.  Or maybe you have no issues at all *this is where I cough out the word denial under my breath*  But, because I haven't already disclosed enough to you...I'll give you the truth I'm now speaking to myself.  The little bit I like to call..

No Sarah...

You do not need so much sugar.
You are not  too tired to get your butt up and run.
You do not need a snack...or ten snacks.
You are not too busy to spend time with God.

You get the idea.

And if you have issues with food, or issues with telling yourself "no" when you need to, I whole heartedly recommend Made to Crave...and this is most definitely not a paid for recommendation ;)

Anyone else out there in desperate need of telling themselves NO?


  1. Boy do i ever need to tell myself no! And I think I am going to get myself a copy of that book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I keep hearing people talk about this book... I really need to read it! Sounds like it deals with so many issues that I am struggling with right now...mainly dying to self... Thanks.

  3. I have been going through these same struggles. Having a few drinks, it is permissible, but is it good for me and my body? No! I had that same verse in my head as I talked with God about my habits. I will also buy that book.
    I have been praying God will take away my wants and desires that are not good for me. He is changing me day by day, but I'm sure that book will help shore up my determination.

  4. I'm wearing a big ol' smile right now! so glad the book hit you between the eyes like it did me!!!! I wish I could get everyone I know to read it. soooo challenging and inspiring!

  5. thanks for such an honest, heartfelt post. I am clicking over to amazon right now. sounds like the kind of read that would do me good. Thanks Sarah.

  6. Nice post, deal with these things daily!! I gave up sweets for lent. I've never done the whole give up something for lent...but it's hard, and I get why people do it now!

  7. This is exactly the kind of thing I needed to hear right now. I am struggling with lots of habits and cravings that yes, are permissable, but certainly not beneficial. The book sounds wonderful. I'm going to find it asap and pass it on to a friend when I'm finished.

  8. Yes, I do need to tell myself NO. I've actually been trying not to think about it, because I'm not living a disciplined life right now. I don't really know how I got so out of control, but I've been doing way more that I just 'want to' instead of what's right to do. Thanks for this post. I needed to hear it!

  9. Oh Sarah. . . thank you for your honest blogging Monday.

    "through God's Word, the Holy Spirit has shown me the ways in which I've been deceiving as a slave to the whims of my flesh.
    And I've had enough. Enough justifying"

    Thank you for putting in to words exactly what the holy spirit has laid on my heart these past few weeks. There is no doubt that the Lord has used you to be an encouragement to me today, and I'm so thankful for that.


  10. I've been struggling with these issues A LOT lately. Thanks for the reminder and the advice.

    "No Rachel..."

    I am SO using that.

  11. I am not good at telling myself no... and am terrible at telling others no... but just now...really, this second, I figured out that it is really the same thing. I don't like to tell others no because I like the feeling (greed) of being appreciated. So really when I say yes to others, even when it over commits me, I am not trying to please them... I am trying to please me...and really, saying no to them and Yes to God and myself would be a much more valuable gift. Thoughts to ponder today...and tomorrow...and the next day...

  12. Gonna have to get that book. Carrying around the one you gave me, started it, thanks!

  13. I just gave you award please go to my blog and check ot out:)

  14. I.Love.This.Book. I have purchased the dvd's and in June my Bible study group will start this study...I was just explaining to them last night at Bible study that is it about so much more than a struggle with's about a pure and devoted relationship with Christ, without all the other junk getting in the way.

    Blessings to you!

    Amy in Kansas

  15. I need to learn that word too...humm might have to check out that book, you know if I have time ;)

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Sorry I posted under my husbands account on accident. Thanks for the recommendation and for posting again. Rachel Dan's wife sorry about that.

  18. Aw, man...why'd you have to go and write a convicting post like that? LOL! I DEFINTELY need to tell myself "no" in several areas....not all bad ones, either! Sometimes "yes" to good things (like a job or volunteering) is not overall beneficial. Thanks for the reminder.

  19. Amen. I needed to hear this, and this is exactly what I've been thinking about people around me also. Thank you for putting into words what has been urged in my heart.


  20. Sarah- so so touched by this post...mostly because I didn't think of telling myself "no" like that. It wasn't like, "No, you don't need...or No you're not too tired..."

    I need to say, like, "No Jessica, you're not too tired to clean up your house." or "No, cleaning for 15 minutes will not kill you because NO you will NOT get off of facebook to do it if you have just 'a little more time'." That sounds so dumb to me to say out loud...but the clutter in my life, physically, contributes to my mental/emotional/spiritual clutter. SO looking forward to finding that book.

  21. I have that on my kindle and am so anxious to read it! once classes are over for the summer I plan on doing ALOT of reading!


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