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I have this rather bad habit. It comes from trying to find a way to better say yes and more importantly to say no. I am an introvert. An internal processor. A type 9 who never wants to create any sort of conflict. This is the habit of maybe. It looks like this:

Friend, Acquaintance  Co-Worker: Whitney do you want to do something in the future that you may or may not like or feel like at the time, like be in a large group where you know one person, or so on and so forth.

Whitney: Maybe. I’ll have to think about it and get back to you.

The heart of this habit is to ensure I don’t mindlessly agree to things. But, I often let it become a way to say no without saying no.

I was walking down the bakery aisle of the grocery store, examining all of the different versions of nuts I could buy when I was suddenly struck with a thought, or rather several. First is that pecans are always, in every recipe I can think of, superior to walnuts. 

The second, and probably more important has to do with Matthew 5:37 – let your yes be yes and let your no be no.

There’s nothing in there about maybes.

I started thinking about the fact that so often, someone would ask me to do something that I knew in that moment I wasn’t going to do, but I wouldn’t say no. I would say maybe. Not because I was waiting for something better. Not because I wasn’t really sure. But, to save feelings. To say no without saying no.

But, the thing is and was, that I was still saying no. I wasn’t doing the thing. I just wasn’t saying this. Further, I thought, maybe there is something more to this verse, not just saying what I mean and doing what I say (which – hello – I could use some practice on), but also on understanding that each decision I make comes with an inherent yes or no. I said maybe and I meant no.

In a year where I am trying to be fearless, this struck me hard. So, when I shirk away from a hard conversation – I’m saying no to that fearlessness. When I take my vitamins in the morning, I’m saying yes to healthiness. And so on and so on.

Which means my habit of maybe is for naught. So now I’m trying to reframe my maybes, I’m trying to think in terms of saying yes to wholeness and no to fear. It’s an endless journey, no?

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