Maybe

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.

Matthew 5:37

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.

  1. 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.
  2. I want flexibility. “Will you go to the school dance with me?” “Maybe.” Interpretation: I will unless a better offer comes.
  3. 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.

Boundaries are a good thing!

This past weekend we kicked off a brand-new series for the New Year called Boundaries.  We all have the greatest of intentions for the New Year; goals, resolutions, projects, and new habits.  These are all awesome things to plan, but my question to you is this, do you have the margin in your life to devote the efforts you need to make these changes?  The reason I bring this up is because I struggle with this.  There are new things I want to do, but my life is so full that there is no room for anything new.  That’s what this new series is all about; Boundaries – when to say yes, and how to say no.

The book Boundaries was written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend many years back.  It has been my go-to book when counseling people over the years.  I am excited to take some of the wisdom from these incredible Biblically centered principles of boundaries and lead our church family through them.

You can check out the first message in the series here where we kicked off the subject of boundaries and make some very practical discoveries from Galatians chapter 6 about the loads and burdens we carry in life.