Question: When we have trouble saying no. Taking on too many responsibilities.
Answer: We need to have our priorities in order. God should come first, family second, and then service to God and our fellow man third. Someone came to Jesus and asked Him what was the most important thing in life, here is Jesus answer: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22: 37-39)
God wants us to put Him first in our lives and to keep it simple. In the Old Testament God told the people who were into all kinds of ‘things,’ but not really thinking about the LORD: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy (loving-kindness) and to walk humbly with your God?
We get so busy in these days and forget to spend time with the Lord Jesus to find out what He wants us to do today. He has a perfect will for this day of our lives, and every day, and we need to pray and ask Him what it is that He wants us to do. I was a pastor at one time, of a small community church, I know the pressures to do so many things, but often I would forget that God should come first in my life. I did so much better when I started each day out with prayer and Bible meditation, and then God would show me the things that were most important first, second, third and so on.
Jesus was visiting in the home of Mary, and Martha: “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’
And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42) Our lives are very short and we need to put Christ first in them, and then the other ‘things’ will fall into place. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) (We have a daily Bible Meditation Chart, if you really want to know what your priorities should be.) Thanks for the question because I believe all of us struggle with this issue.
Gary T. Panell