We live in a world today that is all about the ‘ME.’ TikToks and IG posts are filled with “Top 20 Amazon Finds under $20” and the next “State of the Art Cookware.” You simply must have the biggest TV to watch the Superbowl, and everyone must know about it. I’m guilty of telling my husband I want the $1000 cookware that Gordon Ramsay swears by. (Don’t worry, my husband gives me the same look you’re giving the screen as you read this!) Do I need it? No. But it’s so cool and the chefs use it. It’s alright…you can roll your eyes at me! We also often see talk of self-care and taking care of our own needs first.
Here, however, is where I out myself and possibly step on some toes in the process. I can tell you the last time I went out for dinner but I can’t tell you the last time I gave to Missions at my church—at ANY church in the last 3 years. Ask me about the last time I assisted a homeless person or prayed with one, yet I’ve made sure to cover myself in prayer when I had some shoulder pain. Let’s look past monetary needs…when’s the last time I stopped myself from speaking negatively to my husband so I could have the last word and instead prayed silently for his relationship with Christ in that moment. I could go on forever.
The point here is, are we living a self-denying lifestyle or are we living a self-indulgent lifestyle?
We see a couple of examples in the Bible of people who chose a self-denying lifestyle. Daniel declined to participate in the food and drink that King Nebuchadnezzar required of him. He made a decision that he wouldn’t defile his body in things that God had said “No” to in order to please and honor Him.
We know the Jews told John the Baptist that he must’ve had a demon because he came fasting and refused to drink wine. He chose to deny himself. We see Paul talking multiple times about denying ourselves. In fact, Paul wrote one of the most beautiful verses in Galatians 2:20.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which now I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Are we living like this? Are we recognizing that the Holy Spirit lives in us as believers and that our lives are not our own anymore? We were bought with a price. That price was the blood of the Lamb. It shouldn’t be asking too much for me to stop indulging this world, instead denying ‘self’ and giving myself to serve God.
I pray that this week we recognize where our indulgences are. The challenge I’m throwing out there is to begin denying self and start honoring God.