Self-Control Means Saying “Yes” As Well As “No”

By Neal Pollard
Don’t you normally associate self-control with self-denial?
Certainly, Jesus says that following Him means denying self in a variety of ways (Matt. 16:24). Gluttony, sexual sin, alcoholism and other physically detrimental habits, cursing, and the like involve this negative dimension of self-control.
Yet, how many times have you heard a preacher or teacher emphasize the positive sphere of this fruit of the Spirit?
Doesn’t it take self-control to get up out of the chair on Tuesday night and visit that non-Christian who came to church services the previous Sunday? Doesn’t it take self-control to work up the nerve to speak to a co-worker about the Bible? Doesn’t it take self-control to make time for daily Bible study and prayer? Doesn’t it take self-control to spend quality time with your spouse and children?
My experience tells me that most people say “no” more often than they say “yes.” Many times, our saying “no” to bad things needs to be quickly coupled with saying “yes” to better and righteous things. Neither evangelism, edification, nor benevolence get done without this positive side of self-control!
May I encourage us all today to say “yes” to opportunities to serve our Lord, His people, and the lost (cf. Gal. 6:2,10). He will bless us for such self-discipline.

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