One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Andy Stanley’s classic book Choosing to Cheat. I’m not sure if he coined it or not. But it’s so good: saying yes to one thing is saying no to something else. If you try to be all things to all people you’ll end up being nothing to nobody! In my experience, you need to say “NO” more and more and more! In fact, you need to say “no” to important things so you can say “yes” to the most important things!
Remember the story of Jesus casting out the demon whose name was legion? A legion was a Roman military unit of up to six thousand soldiers. So it’s possible that this demoniac was possessed by six thousand demons or a demon with six thousand personalities. Elizabeth O’Connor said, “My name is legion is the plight of us all.” We’re pulled in 6,000 directions. We have 6,000 regrets. We have 6,000 anxieties. There are 6,000 things competing for our time and attention. My name is Legion. So is yours!
I’m grateful for the opportunities God has given me to speak to a variety of people in lots of different places around the country. And I try to steward those opportunities. But my greatest privilege and priority is being a husband to my wife and a dad to my three children. And if I say “yes” to all those “opportunities” then I’m saying “no” to the most important people in my life. That’s why I’ve decided to take 12 speaking trips in 2013. I’ll never have my kids in this age or stage again! I want to make sure I’m on the home front while my kids are at home! I think the key is knowing your limits and then establishing boundaries. That’s the best way, maybe the only way, to “let your no be no.”
Stephen Covey said, “Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant.” So good. So true. If you don’t nail your priorities and establish your boundaries, you’re name will be legion before you know!