Thanks for your patience and prayers. I have recovered from my acute bronchitis and returned from Hungary although I’m still jet lagged and still behind on my writing deadlines for my new book. But I didn’t want to go another week without staying in touch.
We had a wonderful time in Hungary ministering at a women’s conference where over 350 Hungarian women attended. My book, How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong, was translated into Hungarian although they changed the title to something like, What to do if you have a D- Marriage Sounds close enough.
Q. My friends and family constantly ask me to do favors and I’m afraid to say “No”. I enjoy helping people but where do you draw the line?
A. We all do it. We want to be nice. So we acquiesce or we aren’t really honest with how we feel or think because we don’t want anyone to be upset. But let’s take a look at the cost of being too nice.
We Hurt People
It amazes me how unaware we are of how we hurt people by being too nice. Isn’t that why we’re nice to begin with? We don’t want to hurt people? But when we fail to set appropriate boundaries, we give them the false impression that we don’t have limits. The only person who can be that available without getting crabby is God. Don’t try to do His job. You’ll fail every time and the other person will get hurt.
We Hurt Ourselves
We hurt ourselves when we’re not honest with our limitations, needs, feelings, thoughts, or desires. There is nothing unbiblical about being wise with who you give yourself to. We all have limited resources of time, energy and money. When we allow others to take too much from us without limits, or we give without counting the cost, then we’re too nice.
Jesus tells a story about five women who refused to share their lamp oil with five others who did not bring enough for themselves. Jesus didn’t rebuke them for being stingy. He called them wise (Mathew 25:1-13).
We Miss God’s best
There are endless things that clamor for our attention. Many of them are good, yet Oswald Chambers reminds that “the great enemy of the life of faith is the good that is not good enough.”
People often asked Jesus to do things for them, but Jesus was always looking for what God wanted first―even if it meant disappointing people. (See Mark 1:29-38 or John 11:1-6.) When we are too nice and passively accommodate others, we could very well miss what God has for us.
Stop Being Too Nice
1. Nice isn’t one of the fruits of the Spirit. Being kind doesn’t mean you always say “yes,” it means that you learn to say “no” kindly.
2. Before you say “yes,” stop and say, “let me think about that, and I”ll get back to you.” This will give you time to think through whether you’re being too nice, or if you really feel led to do it.
3. Let go of guilt. You can’t be all things to all people or do everything people want. Jesus was perfect, and He still disappointed people.