No

 

I am so loving the word “no” right now.

I would sing it like a choir boy if I could.

Do-Re-Mi-NOOOOOOOO.

 

 

“No” is the word that God gave us as freedom from distracting thoughts, over busy schedules, expectations to be something we are not.

I’m not talking about character issues.

I’m talking about feeling anxious all the time.

I’m talking about being afraid that we are not being who others think we should be.

Maybe even, who we think God wants us to be.

 

Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

(The Message)

 

Stingy and lavish.

So the moral is we should give more and not less right?

 

I don’t think that’s what it means.

Plus it’s all followed up with “God loves it when the giver delights in the giving”.

I think it’s about our motivation.

 

It comes back to heart.

I’ve had moments where I have given lots out of a stingy heart, because it was what I thought was expected, and I’ve given little with all of the love I had within me.

God was way more excited that I was excited about the little than the lot.

 

Geez, if I’m honest, I can’t remember the last time I was excited to give of my time or my money or my prayers.

I just got in the habit of giving because it’s what we Christians do.

But this burnt out girl is learning, it’s not enough to just give.

God wants us engaged in our giving- from hearts that overflow.

He’s asking us,

Why do we do what we do?

Do we give because we want to?

Or because we think it’s expected?

 

Which brings me back to my Sesame Street rant on why I loooove “No.”

“No”, protects our hearts and our motivations.

So if we are going to have and keep big hearts towards people, we have to be able to have and keep our big “no’s” towards the things that would cause us to feel less than delighted in our giving.

That’s really hard because it hits right at the heart of what people will think of me.

Yeouch.

I know, it’s hard to say no.

We want people to think that we are the awesome people we know we are- but sometimes the most awesome and sincere and honest thing we can do is nicely say “no”. It keeps our hearts from resenting people and it keeps what flows from our hearts pure.

“No” gives us rest.

“No” gives us breathing room.

“No” gives us space to really discern our own hearts and God’s.

 

So, not that you need it, but if you were looking for someone to give you permission to say “no”, I’m saying it.  Say “no” to things the things that have been slowly killing your joy and your relationships with others.  Say “no” to the false expectation to be something you’re not.

Because here’s the best part, in the “no” we have more “yes” for each other and for a God that loves us enough to give us a word like “no”.

 

 

 

Website: www.joyceackermann.com

Twitter:@joyceackermann

 

Falling In Love

ranunculus-1286874_1920

 

There’s something about love that is both terrifying and beautiful.

A gift.

Torture.

Life.

Pleasure.

Pain.

Seeing and well, being seen.

Surrendering to love is a scary thing.

There’s no self-protection to hide behind.

And no such thing as an emotional condom.

 

But I promise, God is trust worthy and he’s good.

I had a season where I was muscling through life,  wait, who are we kidding – I have a lot of seasons where I just muscle my way through life – which is pretty pitiful because I’ve got like no upper arm strength.

L7 Weenie – right here.

 

My M.O. is to suck it up and soldier on and then I’m exhausted and my spiritual walk becomes oh so not spiritual and no longer relational.

It’s all my effort and no God.

 

But I’ve got some pretty good peeps in my corner and a really good friend of mine felt like God was telling her to share this verse with me one night.

 

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

Psalm 34:8 (The Message)

And today I’m passing it along.

Because he is really good.

He’s good, and he doesn’t just expect you to believe some words on a page without any experience.

He’s the God who created things like butterflies and oceans and hugs and raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. . .uh-oh, I feel a song coming on.

Come back to love.

If your walk with Jesus has become a little stale and you’re using phrases like “my walk”.  It might be time to fall in love again.

 

To quote Jason Gray:

“It’s gotta be more like falling in love,

Than something to believe in

More like losing my heart

Than giving my allegiance”

Jason Gray from the song, “More Like Falling In Love”

 

Photo Credit: “Ranuculus” by Pezibear is licensed under CC BY 2.o