John 11:6 (NIV) So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,
If you ever take the time to do a careful study of the life of Jesus one of the things you will be impressed with will be just how focused Jesus was. I think I can safely say that Jesus was the most focused individual who ever lived. He knew his mission in life and stay relentlessly focused on it.
Which brings me to the life skill that Jesus’ example can teach us…
Quoting from yesterday’s blog: “Wow, get this—in writing his gospel, John records that when Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus was very sick he did nothing about it for two days. He didn’t drop what he was doing and go rushing off to help. Matter of fact, it was only after Lazarus died that Jesus made his way to the home of his friend.”
Perhaps you’ve seen the sign that states: Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for me.
Of course planning or lack of planning had nothing to do with Lazarus being sick. And I’m pretty sure that dying was most certainly not in Lazarus’ plans!
But the principle is the same. The life skill that Jesus teaches us is that it is ok to say no to people—even people we love, even when we could actually help them.
Matter of fact, sometimes the most loving thing we can do is to say no.
Beware of becoming someone’s backup plan.
Close friends, parents and spouses are especially vulnerable to this sort of thing.
When you see a pattern of someone you love making unwise choices because they’re counting on you to bail them out—it’s time to say no.
When you see a pattern of someone being sloppy with the details because they’re counting on you to come to rescue—it’s time to say no.
When you find yourself consistently doing someone else’s job or taking care of their responsibilities for no good reason except they are dumping on you—it’s time to say no.
Why say no? Because it is the most loving thing you can do.
Also, take another cue from Jesus—just because people are constantly pulling on you (smart phones, emails, social media, etc.) doesn’t mean you have to jump at their command. Often the most loving thing you can do for yourself is to stay focused on your mission. There’s nothing in the bible that says you have to respond to every call, text, private message or Facebook comment and if you must, do it on your time schedule not theirs.
Bottom line, let God’s call, not the crowd’s call dictate to you what you should be doing each day.
- The ONE THING for today: Often the most loving thing you can do for people is to say no.
Luke 4:42-43 (NKJV)
42 Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; 43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
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