Can saying ‘no’ be a form of worship?


I am a “yes” girl. If you ask me to say it, I’ll say it. If you ask me to teach it, I’ll teach it. If you ask me to make it, I’ll make it. I have always wanted to do as much as I can for God, and anyone else for that matter.

I’m not sure if it is to please people or to please God, but either way, it wasn’t the right reason, because even pleasing God was more about hoping the longer my list of responsibilities was, the happier He would be with me.

Recently, I have realized I have had it all wrong for so many years. God doesn’t need me to keep a calendar full to prove I am worthy of His love. I could never be worthy of His love. That’s what makes it even more beautiful. He loves me without me deserving even an ounce of it. And what He wants from me, really craves from me, is a real relationship.

He wants me to share every part of who I am with Him. Sure, He knows me. He knows everything. He doesn’t need me to tell Him my fears and my disappointments and my hopes to know them. But there is something special about that intimate time, when I do share those things with Him. I also learn more about Him.

The times when I sincerely spend that personal, intimate time with God alone, is worth so much more than my list of things I’ve done “for Him.” I know all of the things on my list were good things. Nursery worker, Sunday School helper, van driver, board member, etc. are all important things that do help our chuch and God is pleased with them.

But there are times when even those good things can begin to take away from our relationship with God. They can become minor distractions, where the time we spend doing that one more thing is the time we would have spent with God, but now we’re just a little too tired. At worst, they can become reasons for resentment. We begin to feel frustrated with all the things we’re doing, feeling exhausted and empty.

I have, within the last few years, been able to see God in such a different way. I have seen that He is in love with me. He wants to spend time with me. He wants to give me His attention. These kinds of things I have been looking for from people my whole life, have been right there, from the creator of the life. He hearts me.

I think there are times in our lives where God wants us to be more Mary and less Martha (Luke 10:38-42). I am feeling God say that to me now. I have recently given up a couple of great ministries, and ministry opportunities, feeling like God wants me to spend more time at His feet right now, just like Mary.

Angela Thomas, in her book, “Do You Think I’m Beautfiul?” answers the question, “How do I get close to God?” by saying the first step is to put down the church-lady pretending. Put aside the lists, activities, committees and assignments, and only pick them back up after getting God’s direction. She said, “Let Him direct every step toward reclaiming your heart.”

I heart Him.


About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 22 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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