Have you ever been asked to commit to something and answered yes before you stopped to think about it?

Years ago, when my pastor’s wife invited me to lunch, I was thrilled. I’d always considered her a godly woman, someone I’d love to get to know better. We enjoyed our meal, and then she sprang a question I didn’t expect.

“Would you pray about being our women’s ministry coordinator?”

About a million emotions and thoughts flashed through my mind in a nanosecond. Did I want to say yes?


But this would be a big commitment. Should I agree, spiritual warfare was a given.  And how would it affect my marriage and my current positions in ministry? 

I asked for some time to pray about my answer. 

Whether an ask is “big” or “small,” we shouldn’t rush to commit to something. Rather, we should step back, and consider the impact on our current schedules, our family relationships, and other life issues. 

When someone asks us to commit to something

Determining the best answer to a request will be shaped by how well we understand our personal values (click to tweet). Then we can: 

Consider each ask with these things in mind:

  • What are my core values?
  • Does this activity align with my personal values?
  • Is this something I sense God is calling me to?
  • Is this an activity I will enjoy?

Especially if we mentally answer “no” to one of those last questions, our response should be NO.

Are we going to let people down sometimes? Yes. 

Perspectives to consider before we commit to something:

We may experience internal and external discord when we want to say yes but we need to say no. Whether that is to an activity, a commitment, a relationship, or something else. 

How do we manage the discord?

When we understand our personal values—the values God has nurtured within us—the discord will be less. 

Internal discord

If the discord is internal, we need to talk with the Lord about what’s causing that unsettledness. 

Is there an out-of-whack motivation prompting us to say yes?  If so, let’s talk with God about it and ask Him to reveal what it is. Then, we must pray for His wisdom and guidance and for an accurate perspective before we commit to something.

Is there a sense of obligation? Maybe we need to revisit why we feel obligated to say yes to the thing and ask God for His perspective

Do we feel guilty about our answer? If so, let’s ask the Lord to show us what’s at the root of that guilt. Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If we feel guilt and we have something to confess to the Lord, let’s ask for forgiveness and ask God to renew our minds regarding that situation.

External discord

When we feel external tension from people and situations, we should step back and ask for God’s perspective on the situation. 

There may be times when we need to say no but the pressure to say yes is strong. Maybe this is because the ask is for something we genuinely want to do but can’t in this season of life. It’s okay to let that go. If God has given us this desire, we can pray He’ll bring another opportunity at a better time. 

If someone is trying to manipulate us into a yes we really shouldn’t give, we need to pray for the best way to say no. 

When we understand our personal values, we can weigh our “yes” and evaluate if what we’re “yessing” fits within the framework of those values. Our personal values help us know whether we should commit to something someone asks. If the ask doesn’t fit within the framework, then, almost always, our answer should be “No.”

An image of grain growing near water and a bridge crossing over it, symbolic of the truth we can stop to consider before we commit to something
10 Important Points to Weigh Before We Commit to Something  3


As for my answer to our pastor’s wife all those years ago, after praying, I believed God prompted me to answer yes. My time serving the women in our church was an unforgettable, growing experience.

When our highest priority is to live at the center of God’s will, it’s okay to let people down. And to trust He will work in the asker’s heart, even as He’s working in ours.

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What about you? How do you determine when to commit to something? How do you handle discord in yes-no situations?

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