Why Saying No May Be the Key to Fulfilling Your Mission

God has given each one of us particular gifts, and a mission to use those gifts for His kingdom. We pray for the grace to, like Mary, say yes to the mission God has for us. But fulfilling our mission involves not only saying yes, but saying no as well.

Allan Wright, an author and the principal of Koinonia Academy stopped by Morning Air® to discuss fulfilling our mission. During the conversation with host John Harper, he explained why saying no may be the key to fulfilling our mission.

“The big mission that we have as Catholics (and St. Therese of Lisieux said it very well) is to love,” Wright said. “We all want to love, we want to do the right thing. And I think those little inconveniences and distractions can come to all of us.”

Wright talked about how easy it is to want to do everything, and that leads to us being distracted from the unique mission God is calling us to. He suggested that we ask ourselves, “What’s our bigger mission? What’s the bigger mission that God has given us?”

To illustrate this point, he told a story of how some people asked Mother Teresa why she didn’t use the funds and resources she was given to build more hospitals or medical centers. Mother Teresa responded by saying, “I pray every day that someone would build a hospital, build a medical center, build a school. But that is not the mission that God has given me.”

This example of Mother Teresa is a good one, but she was, in fact, following the example of Our Lord in focusing on her mission so intently. Wright said, “Our model probably should be Jesus Christ. How was He focused on His mission?”

Wright explained how we can see Jesus’ focus in the Gospels. “There are 27 towns, little cities and hamlets, mentioned in the four Gospels,” Wright said. “And yet, the Gospel never records Jesus visiting a non-Jewish town. What Jesus said is that His mission was to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. So Jesus, who certainly had the heart of the Father, wants to encompass all of humanity. And yet, He did so by being very focused. Then he spoke to the crowds, invited disciples, called the Twelve.”

So how can we follow Jesus’ example in knowing and fulfilling our mission? Wright suggested asking yourself, “Whether you’re a teacher, a mom, in business – that particular gift that God has given you, how can you use that and be focused on that? Otherwise we get divided doing 100 different things. When we know what our mission is, we can even say no to some things that are good.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

Morning Air can be heard weekdays from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Eastern/3:00 – 6:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.