When Saying “Yes” is Wearing You Out

Jesus can heal our souls and set us free. http://holleygerth.fistbumpmedia.com

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In my twenties I threw the word “yes” around like confetti:

“Sure, I’ll take on that commitment.”

“Absolutely, I’ll serve in that way.”

“Of course I’ll tackle that challenge!”

But all those answers turned my life into something that looked far different than a party. Because while I said “yes” on the outside, my heart was really saying…

“No, I’m exhausted and can’t carry anything else right now.”

“No, I’ll resent you if another item gets added to my to-do list.”

“No, this isn’t good for either of us because my gifts are in other areas.”

I thought by pushing past my true feelings I was being unselfish. In reality, I was slowly siding with the enemy of my soul. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matt. 5:37).

For years this verse made me scratch my head. But I finally realized this: when we say “yes” and really mean “no” there’s deception in it. And the devil “is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). God does not want us to say “yes” when we mean “no” because it means we’re not living in the truth. In other words, we’re out of alignment with His character and Kingdom.

So what do we do? Our first option is simply saying “no.” Or if we’re absolutely certain this is something God wants us to do, we get our hearts to a place where we truly mean “yes” before we accept. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

It’s easy to blame everyone else for our tendency to say “yes” when we don’t mean it. But Susie Larson says in her book Your Sacred Yes, “Oftentimes our insecurities, unhealed areas, unbelief and wrong perspectives are what drive us to make hasty decisions and say yes to un-appointed things, more so than the external pressures of the crowd.”

I’ve been there and lived that more times than I’d like to admit. But I’ve also learned Jesus can heal our souls and set us free. He can teach us to say “yes” to Him first and then let everything else fall into place.

If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or resentful then it may be time to stop and pray, “Lord, what do you really want me to say ‘yes’ to in this season? And what have I placed on my shoulders that you never intended for me to carry?”

We serve a loving, kind Savior who said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Whew. That’s one request our hearts can handle saying “yes” to every single day.


Holley Gerth

p.s. I recommend Susie Larson’s book, Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion and Joy for more encouragement on this topic.


About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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