It's Okay To Say No

It's Okay To Say No

God doesn't want us to always be "yes people."
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Those who know me can probably all agree to this: I am a pushover.

If this sounds like you, then this article is for you.

Because you're like me. We are "yes people." We don't know how to say no, so we end up committing to too many things or saying yes to things when we shouldn't.

It's easier to say yes, but it's not necessarily better for us. We are too uncomfortable with the idea of turning someone down that we take the easy way out instead of prioritizing our needs and just saying no.

A year or two ago (and still today, although I'd hope to be able to say I'm making progress), this all perfectly described me. I was (and still am) that "yes person." I did (and still do) say yes when I should say no.

However, God has been working in my little heart and teaching me why and how I need to learn how to balance when to say yes and when to say no.

This balance is important because without balance, we stress. Stress is harmful to our physical and mental health, and Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 6:25 not to worry or be anxious about our lives. By this we can know that if we are committing to too many things and it causes us to grow anxious, we are doing something wrong.

It's important to leave time to be with God. It may seem like the right thing to do all the "good" things you can do for others, but it's not always right if you don't take time to settle down and focus on your own mental and spiritual life. Even Jesus often went off by Himself often just to be alone and pray. (Luke 5:16)

It's also not realistic to say yes to everything, because often times that means you will realize later that you shouldn't have said yes and you have to cancel. Though you may have good intentions in saying yes originally, canceling later makes you seem flaky and it's better off just to be truthful and politely say no up front.

It's also a very important skill to be able to say no. Peer pressure is certainly real, and we need to be able to make our own decisions that aren't based off of how people will react.

This isn't to say it is a bad thing to want to help others and bring others joy, but it shouldn't be our driving force. The reason we want to say yes to everything is because we hate the thought of letting anyone down, especially when we highly regard their opinion of us.

Though it sounds so well-intentioned and selfless, this kind of "yes" attitude is unbiblical. God says he doesn't want us to be "people pleasers."

The Scriptures address this topic many times, but I've personally found Colossians the most impactful on this subject. These are just two verses in this wonderful chapter which shed some wisdom about where we should be aligning our priorities:

in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (Colossians 3:22-23)

It's not that God is saying He doesn't want us to do good things. He just doesn't want us to do good things with an insincere heart and for the purpose of pleasing men. When it comes down to it, people please other people in order to build up their own false sense of confidence, and people that love you less for saying no are not people that you want in your life anyway.

The last verse also says to "work heartily." God doesn't want us to say yes to too much because He doesn't want us to spread ourselves too thin and sacrifice the quality of what we are doing. He calls us to do everything to the best that we can, and if we aren't doing our best, we are probably doing too much.

Again, it's not a bad thing to say yes. Sometimes it's fun to spend time and have fun with friends or share your blessings with others. Giving unto others, enjoying life with friends or getting involved with the community is a great thing, but first check that you are following God's will and not your own will or the will of others.

Cover Image Credit: Blitz

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Nike Controversy that Makes no Sense

Nike has been facing backlash recently, for reasons I just cannot understand.

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Nike recently released a plus sized workout clothing line, equipped with beautiful plus size mannequins to advertise their brand. Instead of many in the fitness community rejoicing in this milestone, Nike is facing criticism because people believe that Nike is portraying unhealthy weight standards to their customers.

These individuals believe that the size that is portrayed by Nike's mannequins is obese, and as a result, is telling others that being a size like that is okay. Yet, the mannequins that are usually portrayed in Nike's stores, rarely represent body types of real people.

As I read these comments, I thought to myself – are these people crazy? Think about the men and women who have spent months, maybe even years, trying to lose enough weight just to fit into Nike's plus sized brand! As well, bigger women deserve clothes to work out in. It should not matter if they are "obese" they are working towards a healthier lifestyle.

The backlash being faced by Nike is the mentality that prevents many from even joining a gym. I can completely understand the fear an individual experiences when entering the gym, surrounded by people who look like fitness gods, and you feel like everybody is judging you. As if you do not belong in a gym.

I will never understand how creating more barriers for individuals will motivate others to exercise. In my own opinion, attractive workout clothes are more than enough to motivate me to get to the gym!

Do not let the mentality of fat-shaming, and others fear of a little jiggle prevent you from flaunting Nike's new style, and creating a healthier lifestyle for you

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