Steve Jobs once said, "It's only by saying 'no' that you can concentrate on the things that are really important." Jobs talked about innovation and leadership being tied to knowing when to say yes and when to say no. This line of thinking is both freeing and intimidating, because we are given permission to say no some of the time, but also a great responsibility for discernment in knowing when to embrace an opportunity or request, and when to turn it down.
As Christians, let's take it a step further. God is actively working in our lives. He has created each of us uniquely, and has designed us to do his work in our own special way in the world. Thoughtfully considering where we say yes and choose to commit our limited time is of vital importance. Consider what you value and where your priorities lie. The demands of life ebb and flow; there will be seasons of greater commitment than others. Be aware of where you are and what you need, what your family needs and what God is putting on your heart.
Let's delve even deeper as Christ followers, and consider another layer of what it means to be a "yes man" (or woman). We know the draining affect it can have on our personal lives to say yes to every request before us. Beyond the personal impact, what is the impact on others if we never turn down an opportunity? Who else could serve and grow, given the opportunity to step into a new role, if we weren't so quick to fill the need? When we say yes to every opportunity, we may deny someone else the chance to hear God calling and say yes themselves.1