If we don’t get past telling our kids “no” and on to telling ourselves “no” then we’re heading for as much trouble as they should be when they don’t listen…especially when it comes to following Jesus.
Denying-self is simply a different way of having to tell ourselves “no”. And denying self is simply something that we must say “yes” to.
Inconvenient? We better believe it! Still necessary? We better believe that too!
So just to make sure we all understand what’s getting said (because the word “no” has so many meanings, right?) – if we’re someone that does not like hearing the word “no” then we’re not going to like what we’re about to hear:
“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:23-25)
Tim Hall’s LightGrams devotional today makes a good point, as he always does. Below, a snippet of his devotional:
A bank teller in New Rochelle, New York took the principle to adifferent level this week. When a man at her window slipped her a note demanding money in a bag, she simply said “no” and then set off the alarm The man fled and the bank soon returned to business as usual.
Police don’t advise the kind of response this teller made; some robbers won’t hesitate to use deadly force to get what they’re after. Refusing a criminal’s demands not only puts you at risk, but others in the vicinity as well. We don’t expect this teller to be reprimanded for her actions, but neither do we think her actions will be urged upon others in similar situations.
Sometimes “no” is an excellent response. It can be far more effective than we imagine.
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Tim is a servant of God with the Central congregation in Johnson City, Tenn.