Adopt these healthy personal policies to help you make the tough choices, and deal with the tough.
1. If God grants you the grace to give something away (your time, whatever), do it!
- Give as unto God and not man (knowing full well He'll reward you now, later or both).
- Attempt to give as freely as it's been gifted to me.
- Expect nothing in return from the recipient (but love it if it comes).
- Do not keep accounts. (ie - do not require a thank you or payback, etc.)
- If God answers with the ___________, then freely give it as in #1.
- If God does not answer with ______________, then apologize that you will not be able to help in that way today.
- Refuse to burn bridges. Just because God did not gift you the ability or resources today does not mean He won't tomorrow.
- If you have what they need, why would you say "no"? Note: There might be hundreds of God-honoring reasons to say "no." Just be sure yours is God-honoring.
- If you've asked God to supply and He has not, then be OK saying "no." If this is where you're getting messed up, humbly admit that you need personal healing when it comes to saying "yes" to God when He requires you to say "no" to this particular person OR to anyone who asks me about this particular service. In this case, recognize that you are the broken one, not the person asking this of you. Usually just realizing this can help you say "yes" to God.
God is not obligated to jump through every hoop we hold up and you are not obligated to jump through every hoop others hold up for you.
If God has chosen to bless you with the ability to serve others in a particular way, then serve you should. But if He has chosen to withhold that ability (for a moment, an hour, a day, a lifetime), accept His decision and apologize for any inconvenience it inflicts on others.
*Why apologize? Well, at least for me, I actually do wish I could say "yes" to everything - both because it is more fun and also because I truly care about the tangible needs of the people in my sphere of influence. But, if God says "no," my answer must be, "Yes, Lord. I, too, will say no!"
It's tough. The only way to stay in balance with God's provision is to stay in touch with His Spirit. I love Ephesians 5:18. "Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit."
When a person is drunk, they are no longer in control of themselves. They do things they'd never do if they were in full control.
It's the same with a Christian who is Spirit filled. We do things we would never do if we were fully in control.
The difference is that the drunkard's focus is on pleasing self while the person full of God's Spirit is focused on pleasing God. You truly can never out-give God if your sacrifices are for Him, through Him, in Him and to Him.
Marnie Swebberg is the online mentor to thousands of leaders worldwide. She trains: B.U.S.Y. - Best Unique Strategies for You. Learn how to maximize your life at http://www.Marnie.com.