All posts tagged: Matthew 16:24 deny yourself

Getting a grip on our value to God

For years, I have struggled with this verse in the Bible: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24 I interpreted this verse to mean that if you saw someone in need, you were to drop what you were doing and take care of their needs first, even if there was something important you were doing. In other words, that other person’s need was more important than my needs, or the needs of my family. I thought living this way would make me a happier and more joyful person because back in my day JOY meant — Jesus, Others and You — in that order!  But years of functioning this way did not produce joy in my life and in fact it became ugly. Between working my part-time job that included shift work, caring for my family and serious health issues, I continued to step over my needs, and the needs of my family, to encourage and help …

Denying yourself doesn’t mean depriving yourself

It began in a very difficult season of my life several years back. My physical health was deteriorating and my emotional and mental well-being was in a dark, downward spiral.  Tough circumstances at work and hurtful accusations that sent me reeling kept me emotionally drained and teetering on despair. How could this be happening to me?  It was the worst of times but ended up being the best because out of those dark, depressing days came some extraordinary changes in my life. While people were beating me down, God started the process of changing the way I thought of myself as these difficulties revealed the fragile, wavering opinion I had of myself.  I believed that I wasn’t good at anything. The gift in these painful circumstances was my desperation and after saying no to several opportunities to get help during that difficult period, I finally said yes and took a course that woke me up. At this course, I heard things like you need to love and value yourself. People were telling me that the …