Learning to say NO

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

In the past few weeks and months, since returning from Hamburg (read more about it here), I have been on a real introspection about myself and my place on this earth. Through a bit of a journey of discovery I started looking at things from a perspective of, what do I offer, and what do I get in return. One of my biggest problems is that I very rarely used to say no to things and when the it was not reciprocated, I would often be left frustrated and upset. I put this down to a few things as to why this was happening to me but the one constant is, I didn’t say no.

As a person who is blessed with a few talents, which I am glad and happy about, I would rather to do the task and ask question later, instead of asking questions first and then deciding later. When you possess the tools that others need to complete their tasks it is your right to actually say no. Setting up boundaries is important not only in your work life but also your home life, because family will try and take advantage of you too.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

1 Corinthians 15:10 King James Version (KJV)

I live by this above verse, and the way I understand it is, in todays terms, take me as I am, I will work harder then the others because that is who I am, and I shall be rewarded accordingly. Sometimes it is difficult to explain the setting of boundaries and why you are doing it, but that is more about the receiver than the messenger. The message is quite clear, I will not do XYZ without ABC. We have the right to choose what it is that we are going to allow and what we are not going to allow. But by the grace of God, I am what I am: For me this taken as so, I am a singer, been blessed to sing on big stages in Europe and at home, done so since I was a school boy, now when people want to exploit my talent that has be honed and harnessed over years of dedication, practice, a list of illnesses it is ok to say NO. There is no harm in that, when you are questioned, you don’t have to provide and answer. When I have said yes to this exploitation I’ve been in some really terrible concerts and gotten a sandwich.

You must be in control of your own energy output to the world, even in faith. ‘But I laboured more abundantly than they all:’ How many times have you gone the extra mile for someone and there has been no gratitude shown towards you? Because what you have allowed yourself to do is be open to all things that everyone else needs, and not what you need. Especially when you specify these needs. Please do not take this to be me saying, don’t help your neighbours and your friends, but what I am saying is don’t allow those people to abuse your friendship.   

In closing, remember protecting your mind and soul come first, and not allowing yourself to be spread too thing is healthy. When you are ready to give of yourself give with a pure heart, and give with the intention of knowing it will be reciprocated at some point. But asking questions first and then pushing towards your own outcome is also fine.

The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.

Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.

We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.

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