Self-Denial Helps Us to Serve Others More
Living in a world that tells us to consume, it’s hard to make room for denying ourselves.
That is what Jesus told us in the Gospel of Matthew, right – to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him?
That’s a tough pill to swallow when the rest of society insists “no” is a dirty word.
We’ve been trained all of our lives to get what we want, whenever we want. So when it comes to tempering our whims – that doesn’t seem like fun.
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the pleasantries of life, food, or whatever else you enjoy.
These things are good. They’re gifts from above. We can even use them to glorify God.
But when we deny ourselves, we’re given personal reminders of how much we need God in our lives. When we’re willing to forgo these things so as to not become enslaved by them as the source of our satisfaction, joy, or happiness – we become free.
In letting go, we’re expressing that God is better and more needful than any of it.
You’ll find a lot of people reorienting themselves during this season of Lent – a religious observance in many Christian religions several weeks prior to Easter.
It’s a time of preparation whereby faithful are encouraged to spend more time in prayer, give to others and sacrifice.
When we train ourselves to sacrifice and deny in smaller affairs, it helps to discipline our minds and bodies to a much greater call.
When Jesus asked us to take up our crosses and follow Him, he wasn’t talking about the pleasantries of life.
He was asking us to deny ourselves for the sake of others – a far more important calling.