“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:11-12)
“Just Say No” was a common phrase in the 80s and 90s made popular by a US campaign to reduce drug use. One of the criticisms of the campaign was that it reduced the overwhelming struggles of overcoming addiction to a catchy phrase. As we all know, avoiding and overcoming an addiction can be a lifelong challenge for those who struggle with it.
Titus 2:12 talks about saying “no” to things that are not of God and encourages us to maintain self-control and to live moral and holy lives. However, we all know that is easier said than done, especially in this present time. We are living in a time when “right” is viewed as outdated, intolerant and unpopular, but “wrong” is considered correct, acceptable and trendy. How do you just say “no” in a society that views wrong as right? Titus 2:11 provided the answer to Christians of that time and still gives us the answer today – God’s grace.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It is not something that we can earn or that we even deserve; it is His gift to us. These verses tell us that it is the grace of God that gives us salvation and trains us to live godly lives. Thus, when we say “no,” we do it with the realization that it is not of our own power, but it is by the grace of God.
One note about these verses is the context of where they sit in Scripture. These verses are part of a chapter that is often cited for giving instructions on how to be a godly woman, sometimes referred to as the Titus 2 Woman. The Titus 2 Woman is a godly wife and mother who trains younger women to be the same. Let us not miss the fact that although she is a role model, she herself must be diligent in saying “no.” Specifically, Scripture states that she is to avoid slander, gossip or drunkenness. (Titus 2:3) She has to train herself daily to be virtuous, pure, kind and self-controlled. How does she do this? Grace.
What do you need to say “no” to today? Maybe it is a habit or addiction. Perhaps you have bought into society’s definition of something as right when you know deep down it is wrong. Whatever it is, you can be assured that you have the ability to say “no” by the grace of an almighty God. With Him, “Just Say No” is not just a catchy phrase, but rather a critical declaration of faith backed by favor.
Want to learn how to distinguish yourself in everyday life and fulfill your God-given mission? Books by S.A. Foster, Woman of Honorable Distinction: Lessons from Lydia, Go! God’s Call to Action, and Mother of Honorable Distinction: Lessons from Elizabeth can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.
For more encouragement from S.A. Foster visit www.honorabledistinction.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram (@live_distinctly). Click here for a free pdf “Live Distinctly through Authenticity: 7 Verses to Help You Embrace the Real You.”
Dr. S. A. Foster is an author, blogger and speaker. Her passion is helping women to live distinctly through authenticity by showcasing their strengths and staying true to their core identity and values. Her blog, Honorable Distinction, encourages women to distinguish themselves in their everyday lives by exemplifying their faith and integrity. You can connect with her on her website, www.honorabledistinction.com
Read Shonda’s articles HERE.