Do you feel like you are surrounded by an endless stream of people, all of them wanting something from you? There’s only so much of us to go around. Is it possible to support those around us without always giving in to their demands? Is ‘Yes’ the only answer? Is ‘No’ ever good for them and for us? Do we manipulate our audience by saying one thing but doing another?

Is it all right for us to say yes to a request while under our breath we whisper a firm, “I wish I’d said no?”

“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. Matthew 5:33-37, MSG)

Prayer: Father God, we might sound great to others but, Lord, what we really want is to be great in your eyes. Forgive us where we are not. Amen.

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