Denial. Interesting isn't it. What is denial? The act of saying that something is not true. Act of saying that one does not hold to or accept. a refusing. a refusing to acknowledge. self denial. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the WHOLE WORLD, yet forfeits his SOUL? . . . " So why do we play "keep up with the JONES' " game?
Okay . . . I know everyone deals with it "keeping up with the Jones'" in the western culture; or the desire to fully living the "American Dream". But the American Dream . . . is not really any dream worth achieving really other than to freely worship the one and only TRUE Savior. Jesus Christ. To follow him at all cost - really? self denial? Refusing what? SELF? Yes. Picking up my cross daily is a huge effort to put others interests before my own. My impatience often gets the best of me. Or how about my competitive spirit (in some way or another there definitely is one) that battles to walk in true humility. The proverbial grass ISN'T greener on the the other side really because then I am looking back and seeing that the grafted sod did catch hold & is growing. I don't desire to forfeit what really matters I mean what REALLY MATTERS.
I've been thinking, thinking, and THINKING. Ana, why is it that we as a culture try to make the gospel more palatable? Or watered down so "NOT to OFFEND anyone?" I've been wondering about Jesus approach. He didn't seem to do that. He told the TRUTH in LOVE. Both together, direct. I remember when we did our first couple of ministries it was so very tempting for me to desire to be every persons chum, lower the bar so that others could attain "Christianity" easily. But one wise individual told me not to lower the bar but to reach down and help pull others up to God's standards. Was it hard? Yes. Did I want to fudge and bend differently? Yes, because it was easier; Wasn't it?! NO. Now 22 years later . . . . God's ways are never wrong but the world YIKES IS! Let me explain.
See the world and all it's lures give temporary pleasures. It Looks appealing, is not so difficult. Gives immediate gratification. Who's it gunna hurt - nobody. The world appeals to all the senses and tends to be subjectively driven. Only to leave individuals with an odd void, a type of hole. It tends to be all about "ME". But when really looking for true filled gratification it comes by being committed to giving.
Self denial = selfless servitude
Humility = not needing others to recognize
reach out to others that CAN NOT reach back
LISTEN = Less of "imparting MY knowledge" dispensing
It's time for me to learn and apply and GO!