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The Awe-Full Truth about Self-Denial

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“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’.” ~ Matthew 16:24

True self-denial is the renouncing of SELF and the yielding of the whole life to the will of Christ. It is SELF coming down from the heart’s throne, laying crown and scepter at the Master’s feet and thenceforth submitting the whole life to His sway.

True self-denial is living not to please ourselves, not to advance our own personal interests but to please our Lord and do His work. It is denying ourselves anything which is sinful in His sight. It is the glad making of any sacrifice which loyalty to Him requires. It is the giving up of any pleasure or comfort for the good of others — which the living out of His gospel may demand.

The essential thing is that SELF gives way altogether to CHRIST as the purpose and end of life.

True self-denial, like all other traits of ‘Christlikeness’, is unconscious of itself. We deny ourselves when we follow Christ with joy and gladness, through cost and danger and suffering wherever He leads!

by James R. Miller from “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890


  1. Thank you. This is so remarkably timely for me… I am struggling with a decision to pursue or abandon something I want very much — not a bad thing, not a sin in itself, but something I think might lead me away from following Him completely as I am trying to now. It’s something I’d wanted so long ago and so much… If I reject this now, it will not be an unconscious move. This passage, as all His gifts, comes along just when needed to pull on just the right strings of my heart. It’s hard sometimes to turn away from what we desire — so much easier when we are turning toward Him.

    • Hi Maria Catherine,

      I was moved to share your comment with my wife. You show a Blessed insight: “so much easier when we are turning toward Him”. Indeed, that is so often the fulcrum of our success or failure in obeying Jesus. I hope you and I both will turn towards Him and thereby learn to walk assuredly in His will.

      May God continue to lead you to Himself and work through your life.

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