|Knowing When To Say When||June 21, 2005|
At baptism, we covenant to bear each other’s burdens, and in the temple we pledge to give our all to help build the kingdom of God. If we follow Christ’s example, there is never too much we can give or do for someone else. Believing all this, is there a way to set healthy limits on service?
This weekend is the wedding of one of the graduates of my Young Women class. I’ve been asked by her to make her wedding cake. I enjoy decorating cakes, but I don’t do this as a business, so I didn’t feel I could ask her to pay for it. While I’m glad that she thought of me to do this for her, I have to admit it’s stressing me out. “Building a cake” as Pedro would say, is a lot more time-consuming than it looks, especially a fairly complicated cake for a wedding. I’ve been busy at work, I’ve got a lot going on with my extended family, which is another post for another day, and my Young Women’s calling is keeping me very busy through all of this.
This isn’t the first time my talents have been appropriated by others in a way that I’m not quite comfortable with. There have often been times I’ve been asked to teach informal cookie and cake decorating classes on a stake or ward level, and while I like to do this occasionally, it sometimes seems like people assume I’ll do it without asking me first. I sometimes even get the feeling they assume I have nothing better to do since I don’t have any kids yet. I admit I start to resent it after a while, but feel guilty for doing so, since I’ve promised to use the time and modest talents I’ve been given to serve others, especially in the church.
So I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts on this question. When, if ever, is it “enough?” Should I listen to my own feelings and cut down on what I do for others, or should I be praying to be more grateful for all the opportunities I have to bless? I’m sure there are many of you who face these questions all the time, whether it’s with your callings, or volunteer work, or needy friends and family members. What are your experiences? Is it ever Christlike to “just say no?”