No one likes to deny themselves. We all like to do things that satisfy us. To place ourselves second, or further down the list requires discipline. Self denial is unnatural.. Everyone is tempted to sneak to get their favourite chocolate off the bottom layer of a milk tray before the top tray is gone.
Take a look at any book store. Shelf after shelf is dedicated to building self esteem and self image. It seems like everything is focused on me. Even some Christian authors and speakers have swallowed the line and tell us how we as Christians can feel better about ourselves.
There can be no doubt that we are of inestimable value. We are worth so much that God sent his only Son to die on the cross for us. In reality that should be enough for our “self-esteem” but too often it is not. We always seem to want more.
Want did Jesus say? “If you want to be my followers, you must first of all deny yourself.” Everything else is built on that. Denying self means that Christ and others always come first. “Me” moves way down the list.
It flies in the face of convention, but self denial is the key to following Christ.