I’ve gotten better about saying “NO”. My Ladies’ Bible Study Group worked through BOUNDARIES (Cloud and Townsend) last year and it was helpful in identifying when I shouldn’t try to be a people-pleaser.
But, Donald Miller defined my “NO” even better at the STORYLINE CONFERENCE in Nashville this week my explaining that we need a “decision-making filter”. He said it’s important to first identify what your “story” is—and then to focus your intentions on living out YOUR STORY. (By the way, Donald defines YOUR STORY as “What are you doing to save lives?”)
A girl from the audience said she wants to be a full-time writer but she doesn’t have time. So Donald asked her, “Is your story to be a full-time writer?” Then he went through each aspect of her life: being a good wife, good mother, her part-time work at church in the kindergarten ministry, her volunteer work for a non-profit. But she never has any time to write. Donald asks her, “Who would you disappoint if you gave up your part-time work at the church?” Her answer: “Just me!” She gets enjoyment from working with the small babies. But then Donald asked the critical question: “Sure you enjoy your work at the church, but if your life story is to be a writer, is that time at church contributing to living your story? To make room for doing the things that will let you live out a bigger story, something has to be “given up”. It’s called a decision-making filter”.
Another young man in the audience feels called to work with youth as a counselor, but he works full-time and can’t find the time to go back to school to get the degree he needs. Donald asked him: “So, if you life story is to help kids as a counselor, what do you say to your buddies when they want to go out and have a beer on a Saturday night? You need to ask yourself, is this action and time commitment helping me live into MY STORY?”
Jesus came to Earth to tell us that God is in charge of the world right now and that we needed to get to work to make this newly incorporated kingdom a success.
First determine what is YOUR STORY? What is God asking you to do to help restore His kingdom and “save lives”? Then, what things in your life do you need to say “NO” to in order for you to have the time and energy to start living out YOUR STORY?