The Hard Word

We all like “Yes.” That’s a nice word. But here’s the problem: By saying “Yes” to too many things we’re really saying “No” to many of the things we previously said “Yes” to.


Let me try it this way. We all have only 24 hours in a day. No more; no less. We can all do a finite number of things during that 24-hour period. Some may be able to do slightly more, but even the most efficient people have a limit.

When we keep saying “Yes” over and over and over again, eventually our mouths are saying “Yes” but we cannot deliver. We’re out of time, out of resource, out of open places on our To Do list, out of patience, out of energy, out of money.

Perhaps the best way to make your “Yes” mean “Yes” is to say “No.” To truly evaluate what is important, how much time you have, or how much money you have. And then say “No” to the things that you cannot truly commit to.

It’s hard to say “No.” But saying “No” more often will make your “Yes” so much more doable. Otherwise, your verbal “Yes” becomes an “I’ll try,” which eventually is a “Not really,” which in reality is a “No” anyway. So just say “No” upfront.

And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, “I’ll pray for you,” and never doing it, or saying, “God be with you,” and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say “yes” and “no.” When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. — Jesus

How many different ways can you say it?

  • No
  • Nyet
  • Nein
  • Nee
  • Jo
  • He
  • Non
  • Δεν
  • לא
  • Nei
  • いいえ
  • Không
  • קיין

One Response to “The Hard Word”

  1. Struggling To Rest | Craig T. Owens Says:

    […] …I’ve said “yes” to things I shouldn’t have? […]


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