I am having this difficulty with saying no sometimes to things like sex, partying, spending money, too much work, overwhelming myself in a way. What is the right way to say N-O to a man I am in love with without hurting his feelings?
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 10:34-39).
As soon as you said, "without hurting his feelings," you lost your goal. It means you put what other people desire ahead of what God desires of you. Behind this is that you want people to like you, so you attempt to "buy" their respect by giving them everything they ask for. But all you demonstrate that you have no character and personal integrity.
You are the prize to be won, not to be spent.
You can only reverse this by changing your priorities, as Jesus stated. God has to come first because His ways are both right and good for us. That makes the answer to sin, "no" -- not maybe. "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21). Notice that you've been saying "yes" at times to sex (fornication, uncleanness, lewdness), partying (revelries), spending money and too much work (selfish ambitions). It is past time to come out of the world and into Christ.
"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:1-3).
Those use to you saying "yes" are going to be upset when you stop giving them freebies, such as your time, your money, and your body. You have to be prepared to say that what is being asked for is wrong and that God comes first -- period. "In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you" (I Peter 4:4). But also invite them to join you in doing what is right. So when your boyfriend pushes for sex, tell him that he has to prove his love for you first by marrying you. When asked to a party, decline saying "I need my wits at all times. I can't afford to cloud my mind anymore." When it comes to purchases, save for it first and buy with the money you have and not what you think you might get. It will be a radical change, but one that is in the good direction.
Wow! I pray from now and on that God does help me to be wise in all of my choices. Saying "no" will be an authentic power within that will bring changes and good ones. I will follow and take your advice to heart, and I will try my best.
Thank you, Jeff!