Over the past month, we have been talking at how the decisions we make in our lives leave us with little margin and energy or leave us feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted. As we did this, a statement from Jesus came to life in a new way.
Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
‘Yes’ and ‘No’ decisions create clear boundaries in our lives. The goal is to create boundaries where we are accountable for our own actions and responsibilities, yet also have the margin to help others in their moments of crisis. The problem we often face is that we fill our lives with other people’s responsibilities and then have no room or margin when crisis arrives in our lives or the lives of our loved ones.
‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are the building blocks of boundaries. The problem with this is one simple word…MAYBE. If ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are building blocks, then ‘maybe’ is like a sponge. There is no integrity to it, no strength—it will cause you problems.
So why do we use the word ‘maybe’ so often? I don’t know about everyone else, but I use it for three reasons.
- I don’t want to be wrong. Honestly, it’s a pride thing. If I don’t know the answer or if I’m uncertain of it, a simple maybe to a request or question gives me an easy out. It lets me correct the answer later. The proper response is, “I don’t know.” That takes humility.
- I want flexibility. “Will you go to the school dance with me?” “Maybe.” Interpretation: I will unless a better offer comes.
- I want to delay disappointment. I do this with my kids all the time. I already know the answer to their request. The answer is ‘no.’ But, I don’t want to create a scene at the store or when people are over at the house.
Eliminating ‘maybe’ from our standard responses will help bring clarity to our lives as well as the lives of people we interact with.
If you want to see the entire teaching series on Boundaries, click here. If you are interested in just the message about saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, watch week 2.