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graphic: Martha G. Brady

I grew up during a time when I was taught to believe that I should always be agreeable.
That “yes” was generally the correct answer,
Particularly when I was being asked to volunteer.


In a sense, I felt that requests to volunteer were often not really requests
But rather rhetorical questions.
They were simply assuming I would answer “yes.”

I felt that requests to volunteer were often not requests but rhetorical questions. They were assuming I would answer yes. Click To Tweet


At some point after I had children, I came to realize that the resentment I felt
Toward those who asked me to volunteer for a certain job
Was not their fault.
For the most part, they truly were asking if I wanted to volunteer.


I was the one who felt the pressure to say “yes.”
I learned that part of what it meant to be made in GOD’s image
Was that I had a volitional aspect to my personhood;
The awareness that I had choice about the many aspects of my life and how I lived it.      stop


Once I started living my life in light of the fact that I did have a choice
About my involvements, and my reactions to what happened to me,
I found joy in places I didn’t anticipate!


I chose the areas where I planned to get involved,
Realizing that I couldn’t do everything.
But GOD had gifted me in certain areas where I could make contributions.


I didn’t need to be involved in activities simply to make others happy or impress them.
I only needed to please GOD and do the things that
My husband and I worked out for the good of our family.


With this new awareness, life became more joyful for me.
I could say “yes” happily and after thought.
My “no’s” were also not impulsive…or personal.
They were just not the places I was called to serve…at least not for that particular season.


The way I started learning to do this was to say, “Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.”
It bought me time to seriously consider the proposal, pray about it and not respond impulsively.
Then I could give an answer.


How have you learned to respond to requests for your time and abilities?