My youngest saying, “No!” to having his picture taken.

Why is the word No so easy for toddlers to say yet adults stumble over it? It’s a simple word, the two letters should roll off the tongue, but I admit, sometimes I can’t form the letters. They stick to my lips and swell my tongue.

We don’t realize how crucial No is to fulfilling our purpose.

We hold unlimited potential. Scripture tells us, you can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). The real question is whether we should strive to reach our potential… or maybe not.
In one day, I feel the pressure to do the following:

  • write,
  • be a good mom,
  • be a good spouse,
  • paint (because I have some talent),
  • be a leader in the church,
  • run a small group,
  • work to earn a living,
  • mentor young women,
  • keep up with my girlfriends,
  • read and learn.

God has given me the gifts and skills to do the above list, and I enjoy all these things, yet if I did them all, I would become a failure. As much as I want to fulfill my potential, it’s not realistic in the time I have been given. Instead, I try to follow Jesus’ example.

Even Jesus didn’t reach his potential. I know it sounds sacrilegious, but hear me out. Think of all the things the Son of God could have done. The earth was and is his footstool. Not only could He have gotten Himself down from the cross, He could have snapped His fingers and had us all bowing at His feet. Jesus, however, focused on fulfilling his purpose. He only had three years of ministry. Everything Jesus did was intentional. Going through Samaria was supposed to be a shortcut, but He stopped to visit with the woman at the well because He knew many of the Samaritans would believe because of her testimony (John 4:39-43). He ended up staying for two days to draw more because He was focused on accomplishing his purpose.

Focus on fulfilling your purpose, not your potential.

arrow hits target

Sometimes we get stressed because we feel the desire to reach our potential. We say yes to everything.  Then, when we make a mistake or have a setback, we feel devastated. We spread ourselves too thin, and it becomes hard for us to catch back up. In our attempt to be the best of everything, we burn ourselves out. We fall short of our expectations, lose focus of our purpose, and feel like we let ourselves and God down.

God gave us unlimited potential through him, but we need to focus on what His will is, what he needs us to do, and what His purpose for our life is. It will mean saying “no” to things that we may be good at doing, things we have the skills and abilities to do, but they can be a distraction from what God intends for us to accomplish.

Below is my middle son saying, “No,” to cake, of all things.

My middle son saying no to cake of all things!

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog.