The Best Yes Study Guide: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

The Best Yes Study Guide: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

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Do you spend a lot of time figuring out how to manage your time? New York Times best-selling author Lysa Ter Keurst will guide you and your group through how to make wise decisions in the midst of endless demands and overwhelmed schedules.

Most of us spend a lot of our lives figuring out when to say yes and how to say no—dwelling on how to reduce stress, do your best for your family, and find a little slice of time for yourself along the way. Lysa was in the same place until she learned the power of the best yes: the choice that shapes all other choices and the key to living wisely.

In this six-session video Bible study (DVD sold separately), Lysa Ter Keurst uses her signature mix of transparency, Bible-based insight, and "been there" humor to suggest usable strategies for making wise decisions day by day.

The Best Yes will help you and your group:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small "no."
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.

Designed for use with The Best Yes Video Study (97801400205943), sold separately.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400205967
Publisher: HarperChristian Resources
Publication date: 08/19/2014
Edition description: Study Guide
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 433,913
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lysa Ter Keurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of more than twenty-five books, including It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Forgiving What You Can’t Forget and Uninvited. She writes from her family’s farm table and lives in North Carolina. Connect with her at www.Lysa Ter or on social media @Lysa Ter Keurst.

Read an Excerpt

The Best Yes

Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands


Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2015 Lysa Terkeurs with Christine M. Anderson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0596-7


Session 1

Set Your Heart to Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10 NIV

Recommended reading prior to the meeting:The Best Yes book, chapters 1 – 3


Welcome to Session 1 of The Best Yes. If this is your first time together as a group, take a moment to introduce yourselves to each other before watching the video. Then let's get started!

VIDEO: Set Your Heart to Wisdom (15 minutes)

Play the video segment for Session 1. As you watch, use the outline provided to follow along or to take additional notes on anything that stands out to you.


A heart must have godly wisdom or it will follow the pattern of foolishness.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10 NIV). Head knowledge of the fear of the Lord:

* Fear: There are two Hebrew words for "fear" in the Bible. One is pachad (pakh'-ad), which means terror. That's not the word used in this verse. The word used is yir'ah (yir-aw'), which means a reverence for God.

"The expression describes that reverential attitude or holy fear which man, when his heart is set aright, observes toward God" (Matthew Henry Commentary). To observe toward God is to look for the hand of God in everything.

When we have a reverential attitude and look for the hand of God in everything, we start seeing things from the perspective of wisdom. This becomes our focus.

* Lord: I need to anchor my heart to the Lord so I can set my heart to the wisdom of God.

Jesus is "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24 NIV).

In Christ "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3 NIV).

* Once Jesus is the Lord of our heart and the focus of our heart, we have unlocked the door to obtaining God's wisdom.

Heart knowledge of the fear of the Lord:

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:1 – 6 NIV).

* Accept my words. Get into God's Word.

* Store up my commands. Let God's Word get into you.

* Turn your ear to wisdom. Listen to wise instruction from God and wise people.

* Apply your heart to understanding. Apply wise instruction to your current situation.

* Call out for insight. Ask God for insights you wouldn't think of on your own.

* Cry aloud. Pray out loud over situations where you need wisdom.

* Look for it. Actively look for God's revelations. Look for the hand of God in everything.

* Search for it as hidden treasure. Treat wisdom as one of the greatest treasures you could acquire.

We have to choose to follow the Lord, not just with our salvation decision but also with our daily decisions.

Wisdom and folly both want to control our lives, and we have to make a choice about which one will.

This Week: Identify a situation in your life where you need to discern a Best Yes, and match it with a verse or several verses from Proverbs. Apply and pray those verses. Talk about them with your wise friends. Wisdom will be waiting for you.

My Thoughts:


Video Debrief (5 minutes)

1. What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?

The Fear of Decisions (10 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, allow 20 minutes for this discussion.

2. Which of the following statements would you say best describes your schedule right now?

[] Time to spare. I am mostly unscheduled and have quite a bit of discretionary time.

[] Time accessible. I am lightly scheduled and have a fair amount of discretionary time.

[] Time enough. I have a good balance between scheduled commitments and discretionary time.

[] Time limited. I am heavily scheduled and have little discretionary time.

[] Time shortage. I am overscheduled and very rarely have discretionary time.

* What three words would you use to summarize how you feel about your current schedule? For example: challenged, bored, energized, exhausted, resentful, engaged, productive, etc.

* How we schedule our time is based on the decisions we make — what we say yes or no to. Overall, how much control do you feel you have over your schedule right now? In other words, to what degree do you feel free to say yes or no to the requests and opportunities that come your way?

* What factors, if any, tend to make you feel afraid or anxious about saying no?

The Fear of the Lord (10 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, allow 25 minutes for this discussion.

3. Left unchecked, even small fears can derail our decisions. Therefore, we need to flip the fear in our decision making into a much healthier fear that leads to wisdom:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. (Psalm 111:10 NIV)

Go around the group and have a different person read aloud the following verses that describe various aspects of what it means to fear the Lord. As the verses are read, keep in mind that you are looking for connections between the fear of the Lord and wisdom. Underline any words or phrases that stand out to you. You may wish to read through the list twice to give everyone time to listen and respond.

The Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18 NLT)

* * *

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:12 – 13 NLT)

* * *

But you [God] offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you. (Psalm 130:4 NLT)

* * *

He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. (Psalm 145:19 NLT)

* * *

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11 NIV)

* * *

How joyful are those who fear the Lord — all who follow his ways! (Psalm 128:1 NLT)

* In order to fear the Lord in the way we're learning, we have to know Him and understand what He's like. Briefly review the pas sages and focus on the words describing God's actions. Overall, how does God relate to those who fear Him? What is the image of God these passages convey?

* The passages also characterize those who fear the Lord. What stands out most to you about what it means to fear the Lord? What connections might you make between these characteristics and what it means to practice wisdom?

* If part of what it means to fear the Lord — to have wisdom — is to rely on God's unfailing love and faithfulness, what do you think it means to be foolish in this regard? In other words, what else might we choose to rely on instead (especially when making decisions)?

* When you feel anxious or afraid about saying yes or no, which passage(s) might help you to flip your fear of the decision into a healthier fear — the fear of the Lord that leads to wisdom? Share the reasons for your response.

The Best Yes (10 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, allow 20 minutes for this discussion.

4. It's easy to think that our daily yes and no decisions aren't all that important, but over time, they can add up: The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep; the schedules we keep determine the life we live; the life we live determines how we spend our soul — and how we spend our soul matters.

Briefly recall a recent decision you made about your time that you later realized was unwise.

* How did that decision impact your schedule?

* How did your schedule then impact your life?

* As a result, how would you say you spent your soul in that situation?

5. The promise of The Best Yes is that we can learn to move beyond the limitations of yes and no and seek out a third option: the Best Yes. A Best Yes decision is a choice that allows us to play our part in God's plan — to spend our energy, focus, and passion on the assignments that are really ours.

* Sometimes we miss our Best Yes opportunities because we fail to heed the warning of the whispers within: I'm tired. I don't want to say yes. I'm a little overwhelmed and a lot worn down. Looking back on the situation you described in question 4, were there any warning whispers you failed to heed? If so, what were they?

* What do you imagine a Best Yes decision in that situation might have been? In other words, what decision would have enabled you to play your part and spend your energy, focus, and passion wisely?

Becoming a Best Yes Group (8 minutes)

If your group meets for two hours, allow 20 minutes for this discussion.

6. The five remaining sessions in The Best Yes explore how to establish a pattern of wisdom in our lives, especially in the decisions we make about how to use our time. In addition to learning together as a group, it's important to be aware of how God is at work among you in the time you spend together — especially in how you relate to each other and share your lives throughout the study. As you discuss the teaching in each session, there will be many opportunities to speak life-giving — and life-challenging — words, and to listen to one another deeply.

Take a few moments to consider the kinds of things that are important to you in this setting. What do you need or want from the other members of the group? Use one or more of the sentence starters below, or your own statement, to help the group understand the best way to be good companions to you throughout this Best Yes journey. As each person responds, use the chart that follows to briefly note what is important to that person and how you can support and encourage her.

It really helps me when ...
I tend to withdraw or feel anxious when ...
I'd like you to challenge me about ...
I'll know this group is a safe place if you ...
In our discussions, the best thing you could do for me is ...

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY: What I Want to Remember (2 minutes)

Complete this activity on your own.

1. Briefly review the outline and any notes you took.

2. In the space below, write down the most significant thing you gained in this session — from the teaching, activities, or discussions.

What I want to remember from this session ...


Close your time together with prayer. Share your prayer requests with one another. Ask God to give you the joy Scripture promises to those who learn to fear Him, and invite Him to lead you into the freedom of making wise, Best Yes decisions.

Wise Up


If you're participating in the optional challenge to read through the book of Proverbs, use this worksheet to help you keep track of your reading. If you'd like, use the space provided below to make notes and to reflect on what you read this week.

[] Proverbs 1

[] Proverbs 2

[] Proverbs 3

[] Proverbs 4

[] Proverbs 5

[] Proverbs 6

[] Proverbs 7

What verses, words, or phrases stand out most to you? Why?

INTRODUCTION: Make Your Personal Studies a Best Yes

Every session in The Best Yes includes a personal study to help you make meaningful connections between your life and what you're learning each week. Because all of us sometimes have days and weeks that are more demanding than others, each personal study features three segments designed to fit whatever time you have:

* 30-Minute Wisdom

* 15-Minute Wisdom

* 5-Minute Wisdom

Together, the time allotted for the three segments adds up to fifty minutes. If you'd like to spread it out, devoting about eight to ten minutes a day to the study will enable you to work through all three segments in the course of a week. If you have one day a week with a larger block of time, you might choose to work through all three segments in one sitting. Or, if all you can spare is fifteen minutes, completing the fifteen-minute segment could be the perfect solution for you that week. There's no right or wrong way to do the personal studies! You're free to make a Best Yes decision by customizing an option that best fits your needs and schedule from week to week.


Session 1

Personal Study


There's this nagging sense that something's a bit off inside me. Someone makes a request of me that I know right away is unrealistic. My brain says no. My schedule says no. My reality says no. But my heart says yes! Then my mouth betrays my intention of saying no, as it smiles and says, "Yes, of course." The Best Yes, page 4

1. Think back on a recent situation in which you said yes, even though at the time you knew that probably wasn't the wisest response. Write what you were thinking in the thought bubble below; then write what you actually said in the speech bubble.

Something happened that changed your "no" thoughts into a "yes" response. What was it? What concerns or fears prompted you to disregard the warnings from your discernment or the Holy Spirit's leading?

To what degree does your response in this particular situation represent your general decision-making approach when it comes to how you spend your time? Circle the number on the continuum that best describes your response.

2. A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul. An underwhelmed soul is one who knows there is more God made her to do, but who feels too overwhelmed or powerless to pursue it.

In what ways, if any, would you say your soul feels underwhelmed or lacking in fulfillment right now?

What is your "soul thing" — that God-honoring endeavor that keeps slipping away because there's been no time to set aside and actually start? What interests or dreams might you pursue, how- ever small or large, if you had the time and energy? For example: turn a photography hobby into a business, start a small bakery, go on a missions trip, get out of debt, go back and complete a degree, run a backyard Bible club for neighborhood kids, teach a class at church, etc.

If devoting time to this soul thing could be a Best Yes — a way for you to shine and serve in one of God's assignments for you — who might be blessed as a result? For example:

* I want to turn my photography hobby into a business so that I might bless families with young children.

* I want to start a small bakery so that I might bless my family, my employees, and the customers I would serve each day.

* I want to go on a missions trip so that I might bless people who have fewer material resources than I do.

I want to ...

So that I might bless ...

3. To get an inspiring picture of what can happen when we take a risk and change our approach, read the "Fearless Fosbury" story.

When we get locked into a reactive approach to scheduling our time, chances are good that we'll spend our soul haphazardly. In order to spend our souls wisely and well, we need to flip our approach and be proactive — we must dedicate time to our soul thing each week before that time gets eaten up by other people's requests.

Use the charts that follow to do a brief "hours assessment" of a typical week. For now, the goal is not to do a detailed analysis of your schedule but to get a quick snapshot of potential white space on your calendar. Rest assured, you're not committing to anything; you can come back later and make any necessary adjustments.

Based on what you know about your schedule, block out an X for all the hours that are already occupied by nonnegotiables and commitments you value. Things you might consider include:

* Sleep

* Meals (prep, eating, cleanup)

* Quiet time

* Exercise

* Family time

* Work

* Church (attending, serving, small group study)

* Prep time for work or personal projects

* Volunteer commitments

* Date night

* Kids' activities

* Time with friends

* Other priority events


Excerpted from The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurs, CHRISTINE M. ANDERSON. Copyright © 2015 Lysa Terkeurs with Christine M. Anderson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

How to Use This Guide 7

Session 1 Set Your Heart to Wisdom 11

Session 2 Establish a Pattern of Wisdom 45

Session 3 Practice Wisdom 73

Session 4 Predetermine Your Best Yes 101

Session 5 Avoid the Traps of People Pleasing 129

Session 6 Build a Best Yes Legacy 159

About the Author 187

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