Is it hard for you to say “no”?
It’s hard for me too. Sometimes it feels like I am trapped in a vicious cycle of agreeing to everything with no way out.
I get deeply hurt because I feel like I’ve lost my choice, and end up disappointed in myself for failing to do it all.
The pressure to do things I didn’t want to do becomes like a heavy boulder that I can’t put down; I have chosen to live in the lie that pleasing others is more important than pleasing Jesus first.
I have learned through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, however, that I can change—and so can you.
It’s ok to say “no” with the aim of pleasing Jesus first by doing what he is calling us to.
Overcoming people-pleasing to love others
Jesus doesn’t call us to commit to everything.
We can’t do it all; we need to depend on him.
When we set our mind to loving others, it doesn’t mean we will please them all the time—fulfilling all their expectations.
When we seek Jesus in our pursuit to love others, instead of aiming to please them, we can overcome the cycle of people-pleasing.
His agape love is the love that they need; when we seek him first, he will show us how we can love them best.
Jesus knows it all and knows just what they need. We can trust him. His Holy Spirit will guide us through prayer, leading and prompting.
Jesus calls us to be women who look to please him first and then love others with his agape love. This order is given by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-39.
Truth of putting Jesus first
When we are purposeful in our relationship with Jesus, we commit to what he calls us to; we say “no” to others when necessary, knowing that it pleases him because of our act of obedience.
God’s word shares this truth with us. Paul addressed the church in Galatia, warning them to please God—not to believe the lies of others preaching the gospel incorrectly.
We read it in Galatians 1:10 (NIV): “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
We need to internalize that we want to please Jesus, and not anyone else. He is most important, and we should serve only him. He is worthy of it all.
Pleasing people is not beneficial to us, as it only leads to hurt and pain—because it’s not achievable all the time.
When we choose to commit our lives to him, it requires a heart of surrender.
It’s not always easy to say “no” to others, but when we realize it’s ok we’re on the first step to change.
We don’t have to lie and come up with excuses for our “no” because that causes further hurt to us from lying. People respect honesty.
Understanding that we have limits is healthy. It allows us to be ourselves and they in turn can be themselves too.
It’s a gift to them to have an authentic friend like you.
Say “no” when Jesus calls you to, because you are looking to please him first.
Meditate on the truth that pleasing Jesus is of utmost importance; trying to please others leads to hurt and pain.
Friend, how did you say “no” this week to obey God?
Questions to journal:
1- Why is it hard for you to say “no”?
2- Are you a people pleaser?
3- What action can you take to put Jesus first?