Daily D – Matthew 5:37
But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.
MATTHEW 5:37 (CSB)
Greg McKeown wrote Essentialism a few years ago. This book is full of wisdom and guidance regarding how to focus on the essential few things we must do. McKeown’s new book is Effortless. He teaches how to make the essential few easy. He helps us learn how to make every decision an easy Yes or an easy No.
McKeown is a lay pastor. Where do you think he might have discovered his idea for an easy Yes or an easy No? This paragraph in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:33-37) is a good possibility.
This Spring I tried to juggle four balls. There is a serious degree of complexity when a fourth ball is added. The best thing that happened all Spring was when I was able to drop the fourth ball. The next time someone asks me to juggle a fourth ball, it will be an easy No. If for some reason it is an easy Yes, I will have to drop one of the other balls.
Overcommitment in what we attempt to accomplish and overcommitment in how we strike agreements have much in common. The most important similarity is that we attempt to do too much. Complexity is not our friend. Simplicity is.
Reading through some legal and financial documents yesterday, it felt as if the legal team who wrote them did not actually want the recipients to fully understand them. Complexity is like that.
Jesus taught those followers gathered around him that day that simplicity makes life better. A simple Yes and a simple No are our two best responses in almost every case.
Someone offered me an opportunity to do something I really enjoy yesterday. It was a last-minute excursion that required an immediate decision. It was an easy No. As much as I would have enjoyed saying Yes, there were other pressing demands I could not change.
The calendar indicates this is going to be a busy week. The good news is that is not all that complex. As long as I keep my No close at hand, I should be able to navigate all that I can see ahead of me fairly well. How about you?
I will commit my life to my faithful, righteous, loving Father in heaven.
Our Father, I easily overcommit. My curiosity and sense of responsibility each drive me toward saying Yes to too many things. Empower me to say Yes to the essential few and no more. Give me the focus I need to attempt and to accomplish what only I can do. Bless me with proper self-restraint. Amen.
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Psalm 23:3, 4 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. (CSB)
Daniel 5:11 “There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your predecessor he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners. (CSB)
Daniel 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and mediums in his entire kingdom. (CSB)