I wrote an email last night. Had to tell someone No. I needed to be clear but kind (two introductory sentences). Really, really clear (two explanatory sentences). But also instructional (three inspirational/where-to-go-next sentences). But make no mistake about it, I really meant No (another two paragraphs).
I looked it over and it seemed a bit heavy. So I read the email to my husband.
I tried to ignore his horrified look as he came to my side. He started dictating as I wrote. But his phrasing was a more complicated (read: proper) French than I use. (Did I mention I was writing in French?) They would know I didn't write it.
He wanted me to drop a phrase I used several times ("in fact" - how did I miss that?) and tone down a few other repetitions - to change this and rewrite that. After a few minutes in frustration, I thanked him but said I made a BIG mistake inviting his help, and I sent him back to his side of the sofa.
Then he said, "Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to just say No."
I thought about what Jesus said, "Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't'" (Matthew 5). I looked at the email again. On second thought, my husband's first sentence was appropriate, professional and quite kind, so I kept it. Then I highlighted and deleted the entire rest of the email. I wrote a sentence that said No in a direct and simple way.
All the heat and concern and fear and overcompensation (read:overkill) drained out of the message. What was left was clear, kind, instructional and inspired.
After I sent the email, I thanked my husband for patiently putting up with me as I worked through yet another life lesson.
Sometimes the kindest thing really is to just say No.
New International Version
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no