Writing a book called DENY YOURSELF: Take Up the Cross, probably would not make it on the New York Times Bestseller list. When the media and our tribes tell us to “do whatever it takes to make you happy” why would we deny ourselves of anything? Today, almost anything is attainable or achievable. Buy it, experience it and post your best selfie on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to create the perfect image you want the world to believe about you. Because we chime in with the Korean Airlines ad that says: “It’s all about YOU!”
I believe we have lost our way and bought into the lie that our net worth equals our self worth, and more is better.
Whenever Jesus tells us to do something, it’s not to make Him feel better, or to make our life even harder. Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:24,
“…you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me” are truth, which are the key to living a fulfilling life.
We exist and have special gift and abilities only because God made us. With God we are valuable, unique and apart from God we are nothing. If we try to live without Him, we abandon the purpose for which we were made. When we follow Jesus we avoid walking blindly and falling into sin.
Let’s Learn from Jesus
How do Christian leaders and women of influence fit into this socially accepted and applauded paradigm of doing whatever it takes to make us happy? Let’s follow Jesus and learn from Him. (Matthew 11:28).
- Jesus knew His purpose to do the will of His Father. (Matthew 26:39)
- Jesus prayed. (Luke 5:16)
- Jesus fed on the word of God. (“It is written” Matthew 4:4-10)
- Jesus owned very little stuff. (Matthew 8:20)
- Jesus slept when He was tired. (Matthew 8:24)
- Jesus was thankful. (John 11:41)
Yet, there is time to be selfish.
Making intentional time to fill your own soul with rest, food, friendships and sit at the feet of Jesus is a “must do” for everyone who wants to live the fulfilled life. Denying ourselves and following Jesus is not to give something up, instead, it is to receive the richness of life that Jesus died to give.