Saying “No”

by Beth A Richardson on July 18, 2012 · 4 comments

Sheep in Paradise

Wednesday, July 18. Read “God Alone Is God” (p. 23). The author says, “Sabbath is learning to say no.” To what do you need to say “no”? What other issues does this reading bring up for you?

How is saying “no” a Sabbath activity for you?

Words from The Word: You [Gentiles] are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. -Ephesians 2:19, CEB

This Week…

Lectionary Texts:

Audio Lectio: Listen to and pray the words of scripture from Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.

Pray for: the people and countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Spiritual Tools: Learn about embracing the true meaning of Shabbos with this article by Rabbi Rami Shapiro.


Eternal One, revealed in waves and in the waiting stillness, teach me to rest, content in your love. Let my life be a poem that tells of your care, always ready to rise up on trusting wings and risk the wind. Amen.

-Elizabeth J. Canham
Heart Whispers

From p. 70 of Heart Whispers by Elizabeth J. Canham. Copyright © 1999 by the author. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission of Upper Room Books.

Prayer: Faithful God, give me the wisdom to invite others to come away and rest. Amen.

Art Credit: Sheep in Paradise (Ravenna, Italy) from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

A service of Alive Now magazine. Copyright © 2012 The Upper Room, 1908 Grand Ave., Nashville, TN 37212 USA. Order Alive Now and nurture your spiritual life.

Steve Long July 18, 2012 at 6:06 am

Slowly, but surely, I’m making one day a week my Sabbath. For me, that’s usually Sunday. But in my way of thinking, the more important issue is finding time for rest and strength for my faith and body. This time helps me focus on family and other important issues that otherwise can get lost in the busy-ness of life. The Andy Griffith episode “Man in a Hurry” is a great one for telling part of this story.

Anyone have a favorite song that describes this need for rest in words?

One that has just been raised to my attention is “One Day at a Time” – it’s not only about rest, but is a good reminder that “we’re only human.”

Buzz July 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

Steve, how about “Rest in Me”?

Now that I’m retired I have many days of rest available to me. I could say now I can say “No” to everything. That’s not the case. Now, I have time to say “Yes” when God calls.

Nancy July 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I have a long standing “volunteer queen”. Ask me to do something, and I will say “yes”. God doesn’t need me to do everything. I am allowed to say “no” to guard my health. It doesn’t help anyone for me to overload myself and then pay with a week in bed. My prayer everyday is to be more discerning where God especially needs my energy.

Pat July 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

My 107 year old mother-in-law broke her leg July 12th. My husband is the only child available to call on. We both realized that we had to say “no” to being on duty 24/7. Thus, enlisted the assistance of a granddaughter and Visiting Angels. Our bodies and minds were telling us we HAD to say “no” to non-stop duty. My body gives me all kinds of signals. I usually attempt to say “no” before I get the signals.
A good hymn for this concern is BE STILL MY SOUL and THERE IS A BALM IN GILEAD

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