One of the most liberating things I learned to do was to say no when I meant no. I used to say Maybe, I’ll think about it, and sometimes Let me get back to you. Even though I knew that I wasn’t interested in whatever was being offered, I still responded in a dishonest way. Perhaps I thought it would be rude to just say no. Allowing them to think that I’d consider their offer was nicer. Now I just say no when that’s what I really mean. If you need a scriptural reference, try using this one as a constant reminder:
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. ~Matthew 5:37 (KJV)
Probably the second most liberating thing I learned to say is I don’t know. The truth is that I don’t know everything, and I don’t claim to know it all. Sometimes people expect educators to know everything, and that’s just plain unfair. No human being knows everything; that’s why it’s imperative that we collaborate in all areas of our lives. We’re so much better together than we are in isolation. So let me be clear: when I say I don’t know, that’s exactly what I mean. It doesn’t mean that I do know and that I’m keeping the requested information from you. It means that you may need to find that info elsewhere. For God’s sake, Google it! By telling the truth, it essentially frees me from becoming the researcher and purveyor of knowledge. If saying I don’t know seems a little too curt, you could try being clever by saying something like That’s a good question, but that’s a God question. Not clever enough? Here’s a verse to use when you’re in a jam.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. ~Jeremiah 33.3 (ESV)
Finally, the third most liberating thing I’ve learned to do is to carve out time for myself when I need it so that I’m better equipped to serve others when they need me. There’s probably nothing worse than trying to serve others when you are spiritually, emotionally, or physically starving. Along the same lines, we shouldn’t try to serve others like others. You’re probably thinking What on Earth is Michelle talking about? Here’s the answer: Know thyself. Every good and perfect gift comes from God, but he didn’t give every gift to you. For instance, I know that hospitality isn’t one of my spiritual gifts. I might pay for your hotel stay, but I won’t open my home to visitors for an extended stay. For a scriptural reference, go to Romans 12:3-8. If you prefer figurative language, try this one on for size:
Stay in your lane!
Life is really simple, but we sometimes make it hard. If we realize that there’s a lesson in everything, we might discover how simple life is. For the record, you don’t have to experience everything firsthand to learn a lesson. Watch others and be encouraged, filled with hope, and blessed. So, what have you learned this week or this year that has been liberating? Scroll down, and join me in the comments to share your life lessons with me.
May blessings abound! <3