This morning I had the privilege of joining the Kurt and Kate Morning Show on Moody Radio in Florida. The purpose of the visit was to discuss a recent devotion I posted by J.R. Miller on Self-Denial. In our culture, it seems contradictory to say that self-denial could be a good thing because, according to our contemporary thought, the only way to be happy is to live for yourself.
Today’s society constantly tells us to be the master of our ship, to plot our own course. The problem with this is that it is the exact opposite of what scripture teaches. The world says, to be happy, you must magnify yourself. Scripture says we must decrease, and Jesus must increase. Our culture says the key to happiness is to grow in wealth, power, and human favor. Jesus says you can gain the whole world yet lose your soul. All of these are reasons why Jesus tells us to deny ourselves.
Here is what throws so many people off. When Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, he is not telling us to be unhappy; he is showing us the way to true happiness. Here is some of what we discussed on the show.
- What are we to deny in denying self?
- What is the difference between non-Christians who fast and engage in ascetic practices and true Christian self-denial?
- Why can’t the things of the world bring us happiness?
- What do we do if self-denial feels like drudgery?
- Two main practical steps to help us properly deny self.
- What is the chief end of man, and how does that play into self-denial and happiness?
You can listen to the interview at the link below.