No is a Beautiful Word: Hope and Help for the Overcommitted and (Occasionally) Exhausted

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Title: No is a Beautiful Word: Hope and Help for the Overcommitted and (Occasionally) Exhausted

Author: Kevin G. Harney

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: February 12, 2019

Format: Softcover (paperback)

Length: 192 pages


Nobody can commit to doing everything people ask them to do, but nobody wants to turn down fun opportunities either. But what if saying “No” to certain things can actually be good? Kevin G. Harney argues the key to living a balanced life is learning when to turn down opportunities that distract away from one’s priorities. Harney breaks his discussion into several key sections:

  • Why it’s sometimes okay to say “No”
  • Different things you can mean by saying “No” (such as “No, but I know someone else who can help”)
  • The right times to say “No”
  • The most effective ways to say “No”
  • The things you should always say “No” to
  • The ways that strategically saying “No” can change your life
  • The right times to say “Yes” instead

Harney takes a “short and sweet” approach to the material, making each point with as few words as possible. In fact, some of his chapters are only a page long. One could argue the book could have been just as good if he’d taken a longer, more meditative approach to the material. That being said, he never makes chapters so short that he miscommunicates his ideas. Not only that, but the ideas he describes are well-developed and highly helpful. All told, this book is well worth reading at least once and will give readers a new perspective on how to live well.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4 stars

Intended Audience

Readers trying to avoid overcommitted schedules, readers trying to learn how to build good priorities.

Christian Impact

This book will help readers see the wisdom of using their time wisely and focusing on the opportunities God brings their way.

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No Is a Beautiful Word: Hope and Help for the Overcommitted and (Occasionally) Exhausted

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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