There are times when it is not only okay to say “no” but very beneficial. Christ followers are notoriously guilted into doing more than our fair share because other people are disobedient. Those who do are asked to do more. Those that disobediently do not do get away with it. That seems to be the way. Ya know, it is very interesting to study human nature. It is alarmingly selfish when left to its own resources. No one really wants to do all the work. If given a choice, everyone would rather just do what they enjoy and never bother with making trips out to the church to clean or decorate or paint or whatever. Who enjoys spending their precious weekend doing more work for the church building? Who really wants to do lesson plans for Sunday School when they would rather be lazing about or playing or relaxing? Seriously, those who never volunteer for helping out at church are really very selfish because everyone is “busy” and yet some people find time to do most everything while they opt for selfishness disguised as good reasons/excuses. But I digress. Those of you doing more than your share while other laze about squandering service opportunities for the Lord, it is very acceptable and healthy to say “no” to further requests for assistance. When you give more than what God has gifted you for, you burn out. More than that, you can even hinder others from the opportunity to step up to the plate and do their fair share. Also, you lose your priorities. God never intended for a few to do all the work. God speaks against slothfulness and selfishness of any kind in the Bible. It was His intention for everyone to pitch in with what they are gifted in. That is why He made so many with different gifts. He wants us to use them for His glory and kingdom. We are working for the Lord and not for man because it is the Lord Christ we are serving. We need to do what He has gifted us to do and that fulfills the tithing requirement. As long as you remain in balance, you may do more as an offering in addition, but bear in mind you have spouses and family also or friends or random people in your path to minister to. If you spend all of you, however noble it seems, but you neglect your care or family, you may not have left what you need for the extras that always come our way. It is not storing up treasures, it is good stewardship of energy. Relax a little and be available now and then. Only then can God really impact anyone around you through you. Service is for God and not man’s praise. Once we get to heaven, we will have greater reward than we can imagine.
Some silliness just came to my attention in my church. There was a dispute between the pastor and the music director. Both are very good at their jobs, respectively. However, they are unable to agree about something in particular. What that is is of no importance. I am reminded, however, of the fragility of human beings and how damaging silly behavior is when our pride gets in there and fights harder than we allow God’s Spirit to fight for us. If we just get out of the way, God will work beautiful “magic”. If we allow our silly selves to guide us and our tongues, however, bad things happen, like our music director leaving. This should not be!! How do 2 men of mature faith allow pride to divide them? Both are strong and mean well. I long to scream, “What is wrong with you two? Why on earth do you think any of what you do is all about you? It is about God’s kingdom expansion and NOT YOU! Get over it!!” Will I do that? Time will tell, but what needs to be said to the kingdom at large- get over yourself. God’s church is absolutely not, under any circumstances, for you, no matter who you are. It is for Him. If you can’t handle that, get out of it so the church can grow!!!!
Life is not about what you have or use or who you talk to or what you say. In fact, it really isn’t about you at all. Life is about the Giver of life. You would not be here if it were not His choice that you are. You would have nothing at all except that He chose to bless you. You would not be able to do anything without His permission. All the authority that He has and still He chooses that you be where you are, have what you have, and be able to do what you can. God gave you all that, because He is more concerned with loving and showing generosity to those He created rather than basking in His greatness. It seems to me that is our main job. This is why worship is such an integral part of our day… or should be.