Two years ago, I held the glamorous title of Public Relations Coordinator in my sorority. Now, as legit as this title sounds, the actual job was not nearly as cool. My job as PR coordinator was to paint the banners for my sorority’s events and other campus events. For those of you who are not aware of the unnecessary monstrosity of banners, they are giant bedsheets painted for events. A single “banner” would take me up to 8 hours. It was a fun job until the requests for banners started coming in. I am a people pleaser at heart, so I wanted everyone to have a custom banner for their club’s event, even if I had no idea what the club even did. At one point, I had said yes to making 4 banners in one week. Remember how I said one banner would take me 8 hours? Yeah, if my math is correct, that’s 32 hours spent hunched over a bed sheet. I think it goes without saying that my back will never fully recover from the damage banner painting did to it.
The problem with making something for someone else was that the person requesting the banner always had a vision in mind, and that vision was usually not feasible. As much as I would love to see glitter, big fonts, every color in the rainbow, and a realistic portrait painted on a banner, it was just not going to happen. I may have been pretty good at my job (humble brag) but I wasn’t that good. No matter how hard I tried, someone was always dissatisfied with my work...apparently I repeated fonts too much and people noticed. I said yes to too many things because I wanted to please others and myself. I wanted to prove that I could do it, and I did because I finished everything. But just because I could do it doesn't mean I should have.
Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. Saying yes to 4 banners meant saying no to my homework, sleep, and my sanity. Saying yes wasn’t the healthy choice I believed it to be. That desire to please others and prove myself was not honoring God. I wanted to put myself on a pedestal instead of Him. My desire was to please others, not Him. And that’s not what the Lord requires of me.
When you say yes to everything in order to please others, the work God places in front of you might go unnoticed. It doesn’t matter how many banners you paint if your time with God falls on the back burner. Without God, nothing we do matters. He is essential to living a full life. Saying yes to God is always more important than saying yes to others. Saying yes to Him will never leave you drained, it will fill you up. It will never leave you hurt; it will heal you. And hopefully, it won’t leave you covered in paint.