One thing that helps me to do that has been my involvement with YourOneDegree™. Through that ministry I have begun to understand more clearly how God has designed me. I now have a decision grid that allows me to say no well. Here is an example.
My drivers are study, imagine, connect, and change. The primary domain for me is helping people study the Bible. A couple of years ago I went to Morocco with another organization. The purpose was pre-evangelism. We visited two cities and made several presentations on developing small businesses and non-profits. A few months later I went back and helped run a sports camp in another city. The third time I was asked to go was a few months later, another sports camp. I had by that time solidified some learning in YourOneDegee, by that I identified that there were some “go/no go” words for me. If the event did not offer me an opportunity for me to incorporate the “go/no go” words it was a no go. For me the primary “go/no go” word is Bible. That trip did not afford me any opportunity to equip people to study the Bible so I declined the opportunity.
Saying no to that trip opened up all that has happened in equipping Moroccans to study the Bible since January 2014. How? One of the men that did go was a doctor with whom I had been meeting for about three years working with him to learn to do more effective study. He shared some of what he learned with a pastor the team met. He asked for help. They passed his name to me. We started meeting via the internet in January 2014. We are still meeting. I did a Bible camp for the underground churches he leads last summer. We are working together to translate some exciting material for another people group in his country.
Saying no opened that opportunity. If you are interested in learning to say better no’s, check out YourOneDegree™. You can either sign up at their website or if you would prefer, I can help you with the process.
It is worth the time. It really helps you give teeth to Psalm 90:12.