The Penalty of Saying No! 

My Dad grew up a car salesman and told me “A good deal is a deal that benefits everyone.” Today, I often wonder how many people understand this concept because I find many people want a deal that only benefits them. Regretfully, I figured out the practicality of a good deal that benefits everyone the hard way during 4H camp when I was twelve (12) years old. Gratefully, though I did learn the lesson, which I will now explain.

Every twelve (12) year old 4H camper has the opportunity to accept the leadership position known as a Counselor in Training or (CIT). For reasons still unsure to myself when I was twelve (12) I remained a regular camper and refused this leadership position. My decision would haunt me. This is because all the other twelve (12) year olds were treated more favorably than myself because they accepted the responsibility of becoming a CIT. This meant they ate first, stayed up late, and were not micromanaged as much. In fact remember vividly another twelve year (12) old CIT telling me to go to bed early. At the time my thoughts were, “Who are you to tell me anything. You’re the same age as I am and no different than I.” However, they were different because unlike myself they embraced the responsibility of a CIT and earned the benefits and privileges with the position. I wanted all of the benefits of being a CIT without actually being a leader. I wanted a “bad deal.”

As I look back at my rejection of becoming a Counselor in Training I realize it could have stood for Adult in Training. This is because the very nature of the position was preparing me to become both a future counselor and adult. 4H was trying to teach me the practical value of a “good deal” while I was still a youth. Though I rejected this intentional opportunity, unintentionally this experience taught me the value of leadership through my refusal. I learned that we should embrace the opportunities God presents us in life and failure to do so leaves us with no one to blame but ourselves.

2 Thessalonians 3:10b of the Bible says, “If anyone is not willing to work; let him not eat.” This is not to say that God can’t bless us when we refuse to obey Him. Rather this verse encourages us to obey Him in order to be in the best position possible to receive God best deal. His deal involves our belief on His Son Jesus Christ who died for the atonement of our sin. He was then raise from the dead a few days later. Christ’s death was the death of our sin and His new life is the new life we can have, all we have to do is follow Jesus by committing our life to Him. This is not just a good deal; it’s a great deal!

Regardless of if you embrace Christ (which I hope you do) I still want to encourage you to embrace new leadership roles. Start by asking yourself these questions:

Where do you want to be in your life?

What do you want to accomplish?

Have you ever thought that your goals may require you to embrace more responsibility?

Are you currently placing yourself in position for added responsibility in your life?

In conclusion, no matter how you become more responsible let me encourage you to do it. Embrace new leadership roles, and if you fail in the process simply try again. Remember I refused to become a CIT at 4H camp and it taught me the practical value of embracing responsibility. Once I understood the lesson from my mistake I have continually embraced leadership roles and have rarely regretted the increased responsibility. In the process, I have been able to aid others and have enjoyed the assistance I’ve provided and the benefits too. As my Dad would say, “It’s been a good deal.” So here my “deal” I now encourage you to: Go make a difference in your life by making leading others in the process!

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