Intentions vs. Intentional


Matthew 5:37

"But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil."

Everyone knows people with good intentions who do not follow through. You have heard them mask these good intentions with statements like "charge it to my head and not my heart or “I really wanted to be there but....” Now, before you take this challenge too hard, I want to confess that I am all too familiar with using those statements.  However, to be honest and transparent, that is a good excuse at best.  If you really wanted to be there, then you would have made it happen.  (I understand that there are exceptions and times where circumstances really did work against you).  However, more often than we care to admit, that is not the case.  I want to free you to reclaim your integrity.  Perhaps you are known as a person of good intentions. People know you so well that your “yes” is treated as a maybe, or even worse, a “yeah right.”

One of the most effective ways to reclaim our integrity when it comes to following through with our commitments is by learning how to say no.  One way you can do this is to start saying no before you say yes. (There is another post coming for those who always say no). A couple of ways you can do that is by saying, “No, but I will get back with you if I am able.”  An even more pleasant response is to say, “Can I give you an answer later today?”  When we say yes too often, it leaves us in the predicament of being known as one with good intentions, instead of one that is intentional.  When we are intentional, we are able to be fully present in the moment.  We are able to give the people in front of us our best, instead of the part of us that has already left the building.  We are able to capitalize on the present opportunities instead of longing for the missed ones.  Living intentionally positions us to be men and women of integrity.

Take time to consider what things you probably should say ”no” to, so that your “yes” will carry more weight.  Let us be men and women where our yes mean yes and our no means no.