It's harder, isn't it? You can justify saying "No" to bad things pretty easily.
"If I kill him, I'll go to jail."Saying "No" to good things requires a different skill. It requires prioritization and often subjective prioritization.
"If I don't eat that, it'll go to waste"
"If I cheer for them, I'll go to hell"*
This came up three times today.
Meeting with a local pastor, whose church sounds amazing, I had to decline his offer make his church our home base. We've already committed somewhere else. We like our church. We actually really like our church. (Seriously, if you're near Davie, you should check Crossway out).
But it was still hard to say "No."
The second time this came up was on campus. One of our sharpest leaders caught on to the fact that Christian students bouncing from meeting to meeting kept people from actually living obedient lives. There's a big difference between learning about Jesus and following him. If we want to develop disciples of Jesus, we have to be able to teach people to say "No," even to good opportunities to acquire knowledge.
But it will still be hard to say "No."
The last instance of saying "No" came while hanging out with some new friends. We were having fun, great, deep conversation. While we talked, the temp dropped and the wind picked up. Time slipped away and, before I knew it, it was time to go home. As I stood up and said my farewells, I didn't want the moment to end. It was good! But so was going home, seeing my wife, playing with my son.
I can't do everything. And neither can you.
Why, then, is it so hard to say "No"?
*Despite my commitment to the Duke Blue Devils, I have no desire for Carolina to go anywhere warm