Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Note the following;
Four Anguishes of Self-Centered Living
- Most Kinds of Depression: Dr. Meier from Meier Clinics, states in his book, “Happiness is a Choice,” that the leading cause for depression is, “unresolved anger and holding grudges.” Learning to obey Jesus’ call of self-denial will allow a depressed person to forgive and heal emotionally; while living self-centered will continue the cycle of anguish.
- Prolonged Grief: In the same book noted above Dr. Meier states, “The entire [five step grieving] process in a mature individual will take from three to six weeks after a very significant loss such as the death of a mate.” Thus, if a grieving person becomes self-absorbed they can have prolong grief- which can turn into depression, despair and being unhealthy. So once again, learning to deny one’s self brings healing- “though weeping may endure for the night- joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). It is natural and even godly to grieve, but one must focus on Jesus- not the pain in order to be healed and comforted (Luke 6:21).
- Fear & Anxiety: According to Dr. Meier anxiety is a symptom of not facing and accepting the truth about a certain situation. Thus, when the anxious person elevates “their” personal “feelings” about a thing they will develop an irrational fear and unhealthy response. However, when they learn to deny the fearful sensations based on the lies they believed and accept the truth about the situation they can be free from the grip of fear.
- Sinful Sexual Habits, Unhealthy Addictions & Consistent Broken Relationships: What do sexual immorality, pornography, obesity, drug addiction and loneliness all have in common? They are the fruits from the root of the “Self-Centered Tree.” When people do not deny their sinful urges they will reap the fruit of sin. It is a sin to act on ungodly sexual urges, it is a sin to be addicted to food, alcohol, drugs, etc. It is a sin to always be without close friends because you cannot control your anger or “touchiness.” Long lasting friendships are a sign of a healthy and mature disciple.
May God teach us all how to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus!