If we look at ourselves or others around us, we will notice that we, both young and old, have a hard time denying ourselves anything. Especially for those who have bought into technology. Any information, music, news, or friends are just a click away to be had whenever we want them. When it’s so very easy to get whatever we want how can we deny ourselves anything?
As followers of Jesus, we focus on his self-denial during this season of Lent and are faced with the necessity of making self-denial a trait in our own lives. We can choose to leave certain things out of our diet or stop specific activities and can be successful for the limited time of Lent. But have you thought of what it would take to deny your ‘self’?
Jesus left his deity to become like us.
He left his place next to the Father.
He forsook who he really was to take our place.
What self-denial, what cost!
And the cost was his life.
Now here’s the challenge, can we really deny our ‘selves’? The urge to get even, our anger, our desire to have everything, our need for control, to look good in others eyes, our pride, and we all know the list could go on.
Today’s verse instructs and encourages us to:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others as better than yourselves.”
When we take up with Jesus our lives as His disciples need to become radically different. Only then can we truly deny ourselves.
“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”