You can pick your no’s. In fact, you really should pick your no’s.
Wait, don’t do that! Read carefully – no’s, not nose. Gross!
What do I mean by picking our no’s? Well, sometimes our no’s is just too small. It’s not a cosmetic procedure we need, but a spiritual surgery. To look good spiritually, to succeed in life, and to please God, we may need a no’s enhancement.
In the early 1970’s, Walter Mischel conducted experiments in which four-year-old children were placed in a room with a marshmallow on the table beside them. The researcher explained to the kids that he had to go down the hall for a moment. They could eat the marshmallow any time they liked, but if they would wait for him to return, they could then have two marshmallows.
Some kids said no to the immediate pleasure of eating the marshmallow and waited for the researcher to return – sometimes up to 20 minutes. Others held off for a while, but eventually gave in. And, some wolfed down the treat before the adult even got to the door. Those who waited – the ones with the bigger no’s, were found later in life to score higher on the SAT, be more productive as adults, and have fewer destructive habits. The ones with the small no’s didn’t do as well in school and tended to have more problems related to illicit sex and substance abuse. The size of the no’s matters.
Long before Mischel’s research, God was telling us the same thing. Sometimes we need to have big no’s. A young preacher, Titus, was sent to the island of Crete to help new Christians there grow. Among the things they needed was to learn that God’s grace “teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12). God wanted them to grow big no’s.
That’s true for us, too. Having big no’s can:
help us become a more successful student or employee;
help us balance your budget, save money, and get out of debt;
help us lose weight, exercise more, and improve our health;
help us treat others better, have closer friendships, stronger marriage;
help us avoid sin, choose the better spiritual course, and please God.
The strength to say “no” is a powerful force. May God help us all to have big no’s.