A MOPS Message

I wanted to share this MOPS e-mail I received today.


Saying NO to Stingy

by Esther Feng, mom of two

“No!” It’s my most frequent answer nowadays. In a busy household, saying no to volunteer responsibilities and extra activities helps me keep things running smoothly. In fact, I’ve gotten so good at saying “no,” it’s often my first answer:

  • Sit down and play a board game with the kids? No, they have chores!

  • Do something fun with my husband? No, too much housework.

  • Need a shoulder to cry on? No, work is more important.

  • Want to help with a ministry at church? No, not enough time.

The funny thing is, I began this quest of saying “no” to make space in my life to do what’s important — generously sharing my time, my energy, my attention and even my money.

“When I saw the abundance in my life,
I could become truly generous.”

Somewhere along the way saying “no” morphed into stinginess. Instead of making room to really listen to my kids, I absent-mindedly “mmm-hmmm” my way through their stories. Instead of finding energy to pay more attention to my husband, he’s relegated to a business-like arrangement of running our household. Instead of having a few extra dollars to share with someone in need, I fearfully sock away every penny for a “rainy day fund.”

What began as well-meaning boundaries has become stinginess. “No’s” were useful in helping me focus on what’s important. But when I began to say “no” from a stance of “not enough,” I was hoarding time, effort, attention and money.

When I saw the abundance in my life, I could become truly generous. When I finally admitted that I waste a couple hours each day watching TV, I was free to generously shower time and attention on my family. When I caught a glimpse of how I am uniquely created, I could generously use my talents toward an important cause. When I saw the over-the-top material blessings in my life, I was motivated to write a check to help a family in need.

When I began to see how much I really have, I could start saying no to stinginess.

Lord, even as I say “no” out of necessity, help me see your abundance. Help me say “no” to stingy.

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