Daily Encouragement: Counselor’s Corner by Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC January 26, 2017

It Is Okay to Say, “No”!

I had decided this week that I need to buckle down and focus on my writing again after taking time off during the holidays, going through a lengthy illness and a death in the family. I was determined to keep on track, no matter what! I had already made my schedule out for the week, and on Thursday afternoon my mother called and wanted to go to lunch on Friday. I considered strongly forgoing my schedule and going to lunch with her. Yes, I know it is just lunch but my mother lives an hour away from me, so I could not have her come all the way over my way and only meet for an hour. I wrestled back and forth with should I go or not. I know I already committed to staying on task this week, but my mother asked me to lunch. Before I called her, I looked at my schedule and I prayed. I asked God to give me wisdom in what I should do, and I felt very strong that I was to keep my already commitments for the week and tell her, “I would not be able to meet her for lunch.” I began to feel guilty about telling her no. Where was this guilt coming from? It is just lunch for heaven’s sake!

Reflect and ponder: Are you a people-pleaser? Do you have trouble saying no to others? Are you able to let down others gently without the guilt?

Counselor’s Corner:

Get to the “roots” of why you have difficulty saying no.

1.      No one likes to disappoint others. Fact: If you are pleasing God, rather than man-you will inevitably disappoint people. It is important to seek God in what you should or should not do. Here is a clue if you are supposed to do something or not: Do you have peace?

2.      We care what others think of us. We don’t want anyone to think bad thoughts of us. We would all to like and approve of us.

3.      We feel guilty that we did not do what someone wanted us to do, especially if we have the time and the money to do it. Sometimes something can seem right for us to do, but God has put the “brakes” on it. God operates in peace, flow, and an order. If you feel stressed, confused, or anxious about a situation; chances are God is not wanting you a part of whatever it is.

4.      We are people-pleasers. We do whatever anyone wants or asks of us. Even if we don’t have the time or the energy, we still do what is asked of us. We don’t want others to reject us, so believe if we please them, then we won’t get rejected.

5.      We don’t like asking others if we could reschedule for another time because we believe they will think they are not important enough to meet when they can.

Saying no is not always comfortable, but to set limits on your time and to obey what God is telling you to do-you will need to get comfortable saying no. It is okay to say NO! Know your limits, and value your time. If a relationship is hindered after you declined their request, it was not a true relationship (true relationships are supportive and respectful).

If you are involved in ministry on any level, you can’t say no, right? Wrong, you can and should seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to determine what we should be involved in. I have personally seen too many situations where well-meaning church folk get involved in every serving opportunity, and eventually those people burned-out or stumbled in their walk with God. If you are too busy to spend time with God-you’re too busy! The first ministry we are to serve if we are married is to our spouses, that’s right if you are married and spending more time serving others; it is out of order.


Does this sound as if I am trying to win human approval? No indeed! What I want is God’s approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. Proverbs 29:25.


  1. As a recovering people-pleaser and now a God pleaser, I found this very helpful indeed.
    It takes a lot of practice to give myself permission to say: NO!
    But as I do, life is becoming less stressful and more peace-filled.
    Grateful for your writing.


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