I wanted to share this MOPS e-mail I received today.
Saying NO to Stingy
“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.
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.