by Heather Bock
I belong to a book club that meets monthly. A few months ago, one of the women suggested The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I’d heard of the author once or twice, but I knew nothing about her. We had recently read a book about a similar topic, so I wasn’t too interested, but the one who suggested it said it was so good, I ended up voting for it with the others.
I’m glad I did.
The basic premise of the book is that we all need to prayerfully decide when to say no or yes to opportunities. We need to choose our best yes. I found many good points to think about when I next have to make a decision whether to say yes or no.
- When I am deciding whether to say yes, “We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please” (p. 5). Am I saying yes truly out of love or out of a desire to please the one asking? I can’t be swayed by those I’m afraid won’t like me if I say no.
- Always remember that not every assignment is my assignment (p. 61).
- I need to take the time to truly think and pray over my decisions to say yes or no. When I rush, I can miss the best assignment. I must be present and notice what’s all around me so I can hear what God wants me to do.
- If I have a goal I really want to accomplish but smaller tasks keep getting in the way, I need to write out steps to complete the goal and schedule the steps. “The schedules we keep determine the lives we live” (p. 23).
- When making a decision, I need to decide if it’s a fit physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally. Also, ask, “Do I have an attitude of love?”
- I must consider my time, my ability, my money, my passion, and my season (p. 121, 122). Because of this, sometimes I will have to say no even if it’s what I’ve dreamed about doing for as long as I can remember.
- Whatever decision I make, “chase it down.” Imagine the long-term consequences of that decision. It might feel great to say yes to it in the moment, but how about in a few months or a year? “The space between our expectations and our realities is a fertile field, and it’s the perfect place to grow a bumper crop of disappointment” (p. 114).
- Don’t get paralyzed when making a decision: if I have been reading, praying through, and applying God’s Word, and if I have sought godly counsel from those who know the situation (p. 38), I can make a good decision. After analyzing and making the decision, own it and trust God to work good out of it (p. 81-82).
- There are no perfect decisions (p. 87). Sometimes the results won’t go as well as I expect even when I’ve made my best yes.
- It’s awkward to say no sometimes, but I need to be strong and courageous. Saying no with grace and kindness can turn out to be a blessing to the person I’ve declined.
Do I always put all these into practice? No, I’m afraid I don’t all the time. In fact, while I was reading the book, I made a few decisions without thinking about them as carefully as I ought to have done. I do, however, try to use most of these principles when making decisions. I hope I can continue to grow in this area. I also hope if you sometimes struggle with this issue that you’ll take the time to read this book and put some of these principles into action as well.
If you have gained insights on how to make wise decisions about when to say yes or no, please comment below. I’d love to hear what you have to say!
P.S. If you subscribe to this blog and received a rough draft of this book review in your inbox, I’m sure you were pretty confused. When I was originally writing the notes for this review, I accidentally hit “publish” and then was mortified when I realized what I had done. I immediately deleted it off my blog, but I knew it had instantly been sent to all my subscribers. I hope this post finally clears up that confusion!