If we are going to live for God’s approval alone, we must be able to tune out the cacophony of other voices. Those who don’t tune out those other voices end up being pulled in a million different directions – kind of like a marionette on strings. But, it’s not easy is it? I have learned that God’s voice can easily be drown out in the chaos of my life. So, I have to be intentional about pulling away to listen and intentional about obeying what He shows me.
As I study the life of Jesus I see this principle modeled. Jesus continually withdrew to listen for the Father’s voice. (John 6:15) And, He wasn’t driven by the expectations of others. (Mark 1:35-38)
How do I do this? I create space early in the morning to listen for God’s voice. In addition to that time, throughout the day, I check in and inquire of the Lord about the demands I face on a day to day basis. Because I am a “people pleaser” by nature it is tempting to be pulled by the expectations of others. Rather than yielding to that pull, I am learning to pull back and ask the Lord if this is an expectation I can fill or, if it is better for me to say, “No.”
Ah, perhaps I’ve hit a nerve. Saying, “No” for the performer can be oh so difficult! This is why it is so important to have your ear tuned to the the quiet voice of God. If you have trusted God for His grace, His Spirit lives inside you and is more than willing to guide you. (John 14:16-17) Once He has shown you not to get involved, learn the power of the “sweet no.”
The “sweet no” is saying no in a very sweet butfirm tone. Try it in front of a mirror. Smile and simply say, “no” in the sweetest tone you can muster. Now, let me offer this challenge. When you say the sweet no, don’t follow with an explanation. As performers many of us are “over explainers.” Rather than giving a lengthy explanation that someone else can refute, simply say, ” No” in a sweet tone. If you don’t offer a lengthy explanation – people can’t argue with your decision!
So my challenge for you is to try “the sweet no.” Let me know how it works. leave a comment and I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win a prize on Friday!