Do you remember the popular slogan used to address the drug problem, “Just say no”? The problem most drug addicts had was they were impotent to do that. For those tempted to experiment with drugs, peer pressure was too strong for many.
The same slogan has been used to challenge teens toward sexual abstinence before marriage. It could be applied to the problem of gambling or any other habit or addiction. The problem is that sinful man has an inborn tendency toward doing what is wrong. The late Dr. Tozer used to say that man has a tendency toward the wilderness just like a manicured lawn left untended will become a hayfield or worse.
Paul shares a secret that needs to be understood if the popular slogan is to have any positive effect. It is found in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
The secret is God’s grace as experienced in salvation and then in daily decisions. Start by trusting in God’s gracious gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Ask Christ to become your personal savior. Then trust God’s grace to be the basis for saying “No,” and for the ability to actually say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions. That would include all the temptations and addictions that lead to ruining your life and that of others.
But God’s grace does more than that. It also teaches you to say “Yes” to living with self-control and to behave in an upright and godly way. That is true victory!