Yes Fatigue

At some point in our lives, we've all hit the breaking point, drew a line in the sand, and dared anyone else to ask us for a single, solitary thing more. Up until that point, we've said yes to practically every request anyone made of us, no matter how ludicrous, time-consuming, or downright impossible. "I know you're the secretary," we'd say, "but of course I'd be happy to do all the paperwork you should be doing." "Yes, of course I can have that 150-page analysis done for you by noon, even though no one else has touched it." "This project will take us a few weeks? That's fine; I'll clear my schedule of everything else indefinitely so I can help you."

There are many reasons we just can't seem to tell someone no. Highest on the list, I think, is our desire to be liked; we're afraid if we turn someone down, they won't like us anymore or at least be angry with us for a while. So to protect our hearts and our egos, we let people destroy our bodies and souls. We eagerly let them use us so we can keep them around so they can use us so we can keep them around so they can use us so . . . a vicious cycle, isn't it?

Eventually, though, we simply can't say yes to anything else. We've said yes to so many other things, we're tired of saying the word and agreeing to do something more. They call that "yes fatigue": you're so weary of saying yes to more things, you just stop saying it at all and begin saying only "no." It's a self-defense mechanism, really. Survival instinct. And it happens a lot in churches. We get so many different programs going, so many different ministries and classes and whatnot, people get tired of trying to do them all or be involved with them all. A time comes when the whole church bands together and says "no more."

It's crucial, then, we always seek the will of God before beginning a new project. Before we ask tired people for another "yes," let's get the divine "yes" from the Holy Spirit. What God begins will never fail, but what we begin without God will never prosper.

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