This week we are reading chapter 5 in The Best Yes.
After you read and write down your own self-reflections, take some time to work through the questions that Lysa poses for us. There are five, so perhaps one question per day ;D
- When you think of the characteristics of someone who consistently makes wise decisions, what words or phrases come to mind? Write down four to six. For example: patience, intelligence, discernment, etc
In the decisions and challenges you routinely face from day to day, which of these characteristics do you wish you had more of? How do you imagine your life and your decisions might be different if you could grow in this trait?
2. In his letter to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul describes what he considers the foundational characteristic required for wisdom: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. (Philippians 1: 9 – 10 NIV) For Paul, the components of wisdom — knowledge, insight, and discernment — are first of all expressions of love. How does thinking of wisdom primarily as an expression of love influence your perspective on what it means to be a wise person?
What connections, or disconnections, do you recognize between wisdom as an expression of love and the trait you identified in question 1?
3. If we think of wisdom as an expression of love, that might lead us to conclude it is “wise” to say yes to every request. But Paul’s famous love passage in 1 Corinthians 13 offers a caution: If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 3 MSG) Paul describes some amazing expressions of faith, but he concludes that none of them count for anything if they’re done without love. Without love, even saying yes to every request simply leaves us bankrupt. There’s no wisdom in that. Briefly recall a time recently when you said a yes that caused you to become worn out to a point where your attitude wasn’t loving.
In what ways did your decision bankrupt you, leaving you feeling “less than” or diminished? For example: in your attitude, your relationships, your pace of life, etc.?
If you had that decision to make over again, what would be the most loving thing to do?
4. Having an attitude of love is not so much about always saying yes or even always saying no. It’s about learning to say yes to those things that are truly meant to be our assignment — which requires saying no to those things that aren’t. Then we can say yes not because we’re guilted into saying yes. Or pressured into saying yes. Or saying yes by default because we couldn’t figure out how to say no. Instead, we sense God’s loving invitation to say yes. Briefly recall a time recently when you said a loving yes — a yes to something, even a small something, you felt God was inviting you to. How did the experience of this yes differ from the yes you identified in question 3? What helped you to recognize it as your assignment?
What, if anything, did you have to say no to in order to say a loving yes to this invitation?
In what ways did your decision enrich you or those you served? How did it stretch you and help you to grow? For example: in your attitude, your relationships, your pace of life, etc.?
What loving yes do you sense God may be inviting you to consider in the week ahead?
5. Read Psalm 86: 11 – 13, which describes the psalmist’s desire to learn from God and to follow in God’s ways. Use the psalm as a reference for writing your own prayer. Express to God your desire to learn from Him, and ask Him for the specific guidance you need. Praise and thank Him for His love, the foundation of all wisdom.
The ways of God insist on an attitude of love. Therefore, my ways should reflect an attitude of love. Not a ragged, rushed, and rash attitude due to overactivity. Is it loving to say no? Absolutely, if doing so protects and preserves a loving attitude for the part of this assignment that is mine. The Best Yes, page 57
TerKeurst, Lysa (2014-08-19). The Best Yes Study Guide: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands (p. 64). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
NKJV of the passages Lysa quotes are below. I know it may seem silly to some, but I really prefer to use a literal translation. I typically rewrite the passages directly into the blog, but this week I am notating them here.
Philippians 1:9-10 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift ofprophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.