I absolutely love reading, so when a few women I know decided to start a ‘Facebook Book Club’, I thought, “Why not?” Hardly even researching the book they suggested, I opened my Amazon app and purchased it. You may have heard of it – Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. In fact, on Amazon The Best Yes has over 700 5-star reviews out of 889, and many people I know have had positive comments about it. I had never previously read a book by Lysa but had seen little blurbs written by her from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Although I admit at first I was a skeptic, I hope to get my hands on another one of her books soon!
My first thoughts of the book were:
1) pleasantly surprised: “it’s definitely got a trendy cover…”
and 2) a skeptical: “this book is pretty thick, think you can actually keep up with an online book club?”
Through the first few chapters, I was impressed yet extremely skeptical about the design and concept of the book.
The design was LOVELY. That’s why it seemed to throw me off. I’m not especially used to Christian non-fiction being tailored to my tastes: the beautiful cover, the calligraphy, the tweet-worthy phrases on every page. It seemed too good to be true, so I kept waiting for “bad” theology to scream at me from the pages.
Also, the key concept of the book, the “Best Yes” was left as a pretty ambiguous term at the end of the first chapter. Here is Lysa’s introduction: “…In it’s most basic form, a Best Yes is you playing your part. If you know it and believe it, you’ll live it.” Although she described it a tad bit more, I was a bit baffled that a book named “The Best Yes” wasn’t telling me right off what that actually entails.
However, not being one to be deterred without thoroughly investigating for myself, I continued reading. Not to mention, the first chapter begins with a hilariously relate-able story that doesn’t get wrapped up until the next chapter!
A couple chapters in, I was hooked. The way Lysa writes made me feel as though we were literally two friends enjoying a coffee together (although I don’t drink coffee!) and sharing stories from the trenches of life. The Best Yes is an EASY read: written in short sentences, riddled with interesting stories, and flows seamlessly from point to point.
Although I didn’t completely understand the concept of the Best Yes for quite some time, I mentally set that aside because she was saying so much that resounded with me.
Here are just two examples from the first couple chapters:
“I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.”
“We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.” (I starred this one!)
If you are a woman (or man) who feels like you have this disease to please and have said yes to so many requests that you don’t know if you can do one more thing without a complete breakdown, you need to read this book. It will affirm your frustrations, encourage you through the process of simplifying, discourage you from saying no to everything, and remind you to look to God for His specific will in your life.
The reason why I didn’t understand the concept of the Best Yes was because Lysa slowly unpacks the idea throughout the entirety of the book. This book is meant to be read in it’s entirety in a decently small span of time – I suggest a month or so. Each chapter guides you through the process mentioned above, from self-reliance and people-pleasing to dependence on God from guidance and approval.
My Best Yes Impact
Before reading The Best Yes, I had struggled with an exhausting schedule for years. I always felt a million little things when deciding to say yes or no to a decision. Will this upset anyone? Who will do it if I don’t? What if I miss out on a great opportunity? What will others say? I always wondered how other women seemed to do it all, and I was bitter against those who had simpler lives. Even in my Christian circles, I had this sense that I had to do what was asked of me – to not do so would be ‘unchristian’.
That was a poor way to view requests. Saying yes to everything always left me overwhelmed with tasks and unable to keep up with my relationships. I also struggled with feelings of inadequacy, because when you do so much, you can’t possibly do it all well.
It seems so strange to me know, because I’ve suffered from these thoughts and feelings for so long. Now, after working through this book over the course of six weeks, my mind has done a complete 180. I feel confident to say no when a yes will bankrupt me emotionally. I can identify when I am simply people-pleasing rather than seeking God’s will for my life. Lysa’s words have empowered me and caused me to embrace God’s love despite the decisions I make.
First, if you’re not a Christian, this book will most likely not appeal to you. There are still truths to be gleaned, but for the most part faith is woven into Lysa’s practical advice.
Second, please do not think this book will solve all your problems. It just won’t. It will help guide you through your decision-making process when it comes to a hectic schedule. However, it won’t make those tough choices for you.
Lastly, please don’t think this book is filled to the brim with theology. It isn’t. Rather, this book teaches us to navigate the choices we are given in life using wisdom in a way that honors God. The Best Yes is a book rooted in the Good News and pointing towards a life lived for Christ, not self. In the end, The Best Yes will present biblical truth to help you. However, you are responsible for applying these truths in your life and using Godly discernment in the application.
Top 10 Quotes
Because The Best Yes had many wonderful key points, I am leaving you with some of my favorite quotes.
- “If the activity we’re considering is in line with God’s Word but our approach to that activity isn’t, we will overdraw ourselves and bankrupt this part of our lives.” (p. 52)
- “Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head.” (p. 68)
- “If I want to choose a Best Yes, it’s crucial I make room for it first.” (p. 93)|
- “Not making a decision is actually a decision. It’s the decision to stay the same.” (p. 98)
- “A small no pushes through the resistance of awkwardness and disappointment because it’s better to nip something early on.” (p. 127)
- “Just remember not every responsibility can be you responsibility.” (p. 132)
- “Saying no isn’t an unnecessary rejection. It’s actually a necessary protection of our Best Yes.” (p. 171)
- “Great descriptions are birthed from great decisions.” (p. 178)
- “Conversational threads are what make up the fabric of relationships. We must take time – make time – to talk.” (p. 189)
- “Just as our bodies need oxygen, our souls need truth flowing steadily in and out.” (p. 203)
Have you read The Best Yes? What are you general thoughts and how did it impact you? I would love to hear from you in the comments section, so please share!