The grace of God … 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 NIV

We want to say “No” to unhealthy habits, but sometimes that’s difficult to do in our own strength. At times those habits can seem so deeply rooted that we aren’t able to make those good choices.

What can we do? The Bible urges us to pray for the grace of God, which enables us to say “No” to unhealthy impulses and “Yes” to self-controlled, upright, and godly habits.

It turns out that self-control is true freedom, the freedom to choose what we know is good for us. We gain more self-control as we pray for grace and then act on grace.

The more often we act on grace and choose wisely, the weaker the grip our old habits have on our lives. We may have setbacks along the way, but more and more we’ll be able to choose self-controlled practices.

Food for Thought: Self-control is true freedom, and God’s grace makes it more and more available to us, so that gradually we become fully free to make the choices we know will make us flourish.