Help for the “I Can’t Say ‘No’ Blues”
I hear it all the
time. Cries from Christian women who want desperately
to serve the Lord, but who feel overwhelmed. “I
almost dread going to PTO meetings or church
services anymore because I just know somebody
else is going to ask me to help with something,” they
say. “Don’t get me wrong. I want
to help, but there are only so many hours in
my day. I feel like I’m just going to explode
if I don’t get some relief.”
What usually follow
these statements are apologies. “I’m
sorry. I don’t mean to complain. I’ve
been blessed with so much that I have no choice
but to give back. And I really am glad to do
it. Anyway, as a Christian, I’m obligated
to say ‘yes’ when called on to help.
Plus, if I don’t do it, it simply won’t
Does any of that
sound familiar to you? Have you found those same
statements coming from your own mouth? Do you
rush around all throughout your days doing for
others whether you have time to do it or not?
Do you cringe whenever the phone rings and the
voice on the other end starts with, “Let
me ask you something”? Do you have too
much stress, not enough time, and a boatload
of guilt for feeling the way you do? Then you
most likely suffer from “I Can’t
Say ‘No’” Syndrome.
Says It’s OK To Say No
While your intentions
are probably good, the effects of your actions
often turn out to be horrendous. Your husband
fusses that you’re running yourself ragged.
Your children complain that you have no time
for them. You gripe under your breath about everything
because you’re so sensitive.
Are you aware that
it’s all right to say “no”?
In fact, the Bible says it is OK to say “no.” Jesus,
himself, clearly took time to rest as can be
seen in Mark 4:38 among other passages. Even
the son of God (in human form) knew His human
body, mind, spirit, and soul needed a break from
time-to-time. You, too, are expected to rest
and take care of yourself. How else can you make
your body a living sacrifice… a temple… as
the Bible instructs?
Is Biblically WRONG!
This is a real shocker
to most people. In cases like these, Satan, not
God, uses guilt to sway our actions. Psalm 69:5,
Isaiah 6:7, Isaiah 27:9, and countless other
passages of scriptures refer to the sin of guilt.
Jesus died for our sins. That means, when we
repent of our sin, it is wiped clean. There is
Satan often uses
the ploy of false guilt to overwhelm us. Don’t
let him work his tricks on you. This is nothing
more than an attempt to keep you trapped and
feeling depressed about not spending every minute
of every day doing something for someone else.
want you run down and tired all the time. How
can you effectively serve Him if you barely have
enough energy to get out of bed? Why would He
want someone “praising” Him who is
disgusted and cranky? Walking the tightrope of “I
Can’t Say ‘No’” is not
God’s idea of a fruitful life.
A Better Way
Take time for yourself.
Have you ever been on an airplane? Do you remember
the spiel the flight attendant gave before take
off? It went something like this: “In the
event of a decrease in pressure, an oxygen mask
will fall from the panel above your head. If
you’re traveling with an older person or
child, please secure YOUR OWN mask first so that
you may better assist your travel partner.” Even
the airlines know you have to take care of yourself
before you can effectively take care of anyone
Pray about the things
people ask you to do. Actually wait for an answer
from God before you give an answer to the committee
chairman, the scout troop leader, or whoever
else is asking for your help. Others will respect
you when you tell them you’ll pray about
their request… especially if you really
You are not trapped.
There is a way to overcome “I Can’t
Say ‘No’” Syndrome. The first
step is admitting you need help. Once you do
that, you’re open to living a freeing and
more peaceful life than you ever thought possible.
is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
and a Professional Life Coach who specializes
in helping Christian women make the most of their
lives. If you suffer from “I Can’t
Say ‘No’” Syndrome, visit Kimberly’s
site today for the details on an exciting email
course that’s sure to set you free! http://www.christianworkingmom.com/online.htm