Pushing Through … and When to Say Enough
by Steph Beth Nickel
Many of us have a difficult time saying no when asked to do something—even if we really don’t have enough time or energy to take on one more thing, no matter how small.
And, as Christians, a whirlwind of thoughts may rush to mind:
- What if this is an opportunity God has placed before me?
- What if I miss something He has for me?
- If I have the ability to do what is being asked of me and there’s a need, isn’t that enough indication that I’m supposed to do it?
And what about those other questions, those questions we may not actually verbalize?
- What will so and so think of me if I say no?
- Who will do it if I don’t?
- I’m supposed to go “the second mile.” Right?
I’ve recently experienced the necessity to do both: to say enough and to push through. And I believe both decisions were the right ones to make at the time.
Last weekend, for a few reasons, I didn’t get away on my annual writers’ retreat. However, I did deem it a “staycation.” I didn’t clean the church or attend the Sunday service. I didn’t cook for my family and only cleaned the kitchen because I wanted to, not because I expected or required it of myself. I did some writing and reading I wouldn’t have done otherwise and headed out of the house with my laptop to do so out of my day-to-day environment.
I also vegged more than I possibly should have, but all in all, it was a very good weekend. I got some physical rest and some mental rest, which may have been even more important.
This week, however, was different. My hubby generously shared his cold. I spent the day Tuesday down and out, sleeping and binge-watching Netflix. I didn’t have the ambition to do anything else. While I’m still fighting this virus, which has decided to settle in my chest, I was able to put in a full day Wednesday and Thursday and am facing another full day today.
This weekend promises to be a busy one. And although hunkering down for some extra rest sounds like a great idea, I am so very thankful that the Lord is giving me the wherewithal to focus on one task at a time and push through. Because this is not my natural tendency, there is no doubt that He deserves all the glory.
So, how can we tell when it’s right to decline a request and when we should step up?
Here are a few questions we may want to ask ourselves:
- Have I prayed about it?
- Will it jeopardize my current responsibilities?
- Will it be a “one and done” project or will it lead to a long-term commitment?
- How long will it actually take?
- Do I know someone else who would enjoy taking on this task?
- What is my real motivation to say yes?
These are only a few of the questions we could ask ourselves. What are some others that come to mind? (Please scroll down to add your suggestions.)
Know when to say enough and when to push through. (click to tweet)
Will taking on this project jeopardize your current responsibilities? (click to tweet)
Have you prayed about it? (click to tweet)
6 ways to tell when to say enough and when to push through. (click to tweet)
Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.
Thank you for this excellent thought-provoking post! I know I have had to ask myself your questions often, trying to discern whether it’s really what God wants me to do, or if I need to say no. I have found wonderful counsel from my husband, also knowing that if it really IS from God, God will change my husband’s mind if he’s against it. We can usually easily agree together, but sometimes it’s a matter of timing. Also, my husband realizes sooner than I do, when I am taking on too much. Praying you will feel better, as you just rest & trust in God’s loving care for you!
Becky, it’s true those who know us best often recognize when we’re over-committing. We definitely need to rely on God’s leading and on one another’s counsel. Thanks for your insights.