“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” — Romans 12:2
What Do You Want More?
Recently, a young staff member asked the dying Christian evangelist Ravi Zacharias what he thought was the secret to his ability to continue growing in his personal walk with Christ and to also keep coming up with fresh messages for the numerous crowds to which he spoke. Zacharias’ answer was simple: The secret to his ministry and success, he said, was the things he said “no” to. He went on to list many opportunities, interests, potential friendships, hobbies and other things that he could have pursued in his spare time, but instead he chose to fill up with that which would equip him to do what he’d been called to do. He knew that, in order to fulfill the most important things in his life, he’d have to turn down other things, no matter how good they were.
It appears as though quarterback Nick Foles took the same approach when he was preparing to lead the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017-18 to what turned out to be the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory. Foles, now with the Chicago Bears, recently revealed that he turned down a seven-figure sponsorship deal and told his agent not to accept any endorsement opportunities leading up to the Super Bowl. Even his wife was surprised, but Nick says he knew that even that little bit of energy and time it would take to film a commercial or agree to endorse a certain item would take away from valuable preparation he felt he needed to get ready for the big game. He needed time with God and family to ground himself before the biggest moments on the biggest stage of his career arrived.
Often, we gauge the success of our lives based on what we’ve achieved, what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve said “yes” to. But what if our success was equally gauged by what we said “no” to? When we look at what we’ve turned down over the course of our lives, we can find a key view into what’s been important to us. Our decisions show us and the world what we believe is worthwhile and the lengths we’ll go to obtain it.
One of the greatest truths Christ spoke about in the Gospels and said would define His followers was sacrifice — being willing to lay down certain things that culture and the world say is important in order to pursue what He deems the highest good. And that truth still applies to us today.
Author Stephen Covey says the way to courageously and unashamedly stick to your highest priorities is “by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.” Perhaps it’s a promotion at work you’ve really wanted, a coaching position, a lucrative sponsorship deal, or a chance to play in the pros. Whatever the appealing opportunity is in front of you, think of what will happen if you say “yes.” But also weigh the consequences if you say “no.” Ask yourself what you want more. As difficult as it may be now, turning down that chance may prove to be the best decision you ever make.
— Katherine Singer
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