Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
It is not hard in the world we live in to find ourselves being drawn toward the less important things of life—the things that distract us from the person we want to become.
Several months ago, at the beginning of the year, many of us reflected on becoming the best version of ourselves. One of my favorite authors, Matthew Kelly, said: “There is no better way to honor life and God than to strive to become the-best-version-of-yourself.”
Here lately, I’m learning to appreciate the phrase—No is the new Yes—as it helps me apply filters to guard what doesn’t serve the best version of myself by protecting what’s of value when there are so many things in this world that beg for my attention and focus.
In my journal I wrote: Every time you say YES to something, you are saying NO to something else. What are you saying no to?
How about you? What are you saying no to? Does any of these scenarios bring awareness to what you possibly could be saying no to?
Glued to the phone or computer means saying no to taking a walk to get exercise or getting rest to improve your well-being.
Making a relationship an idol means saying no to protecting your self-worth and emotional health.
Shopping online means saying no to having the money to pay tithes or getting out of debt.
Time spent at a business opportunity, hobby, or an event means saying no to having quality time with your family.
Distracted by good things means saying no to being focused on what is important and necessary. (Luke 10 gives us the message from Jesus about prioritizing the one thing that “is necessary”).
Binge watching a TV show is saying no to intentional time growing in your relationship with Christ.
Here’s what I know—You never wander into a growing relationship with Christ. And becoming the best version of yourself is never left up to chance.
No one can stop or control time for time waits for no man. Perhaps now is a good time to identify what is preventing you from becoming the best version of yourself.
You will not always make the right choices. But the more you “above all else, guard your heart”, you will be able to live the abundant life God intended.
The first step is asking yourself: What do I want to accomplish this year, and what do I have to say “no” to in order to make that possible?
We have nine months remaining in this year to experience the benefits of saying no. The more we learn the art of saying no to time wasters or things that distract us from what is important, the easier we will fill our lives with what makes us happy.
Joyce Meyer said, “Wisdom is doing now what you are going to be happy with later on.”
How beautiful it is to know that the things you say no to means you are saying yes to the things that are important for becoming the best version of yourself.
Prayer: Lord, help me to make decisions that are in my best interest. Help me to say no to whatever is distracting me from loving you with all my heart. Help me not to love the world or anything in the world more than you. I realize that everything I say yes to in this life means saying no to something else. Give me discernment to guard my yes so that I can become the best version of myself for my good and your glory.