Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Confession, Part 2

Okay, this is gonna' take some explaining. A couple of weeks ago, I followed a link on Brett and Emily Mills website to Neil McClendon's podcast. (From his church.)

And I loved it. It was a different side of Neil, and maybe that's why I dug it so much.
Neil didn't spend a lot of time on this issue, but he briefly talked about denial, which did something to me. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I don't deny myself very often. Whether it's what I eat, how I spend my free time, songs I want to play at church... I don't deny myself. That, in turn, led me to a little experiment. Lately, I've been looking for ways to deny myself the things I want (or want to do.) I think it's changing me for the better, but I'm not totally sure that I won't snap eventually and go out in a blazing glory of selfish pleasure.

Maybe some of my seminary pals can help me, but I keep wondering what Jesus meant when He told us to deny ourselves and take up the cross. Was he just talking about denying ourselves our desire to sin or was there something else? Do we get more Christ-like by denying ourselves simple, sinless things?

What do you think?


austin said...

The word that Mark uses for deny in his account of the passage you mentioned kinda has the idea of affirming that was has no connection with someone(which of course in this case is one's self) or that one is to lose sight of their own self and interests. This makes good sense when you read the verse before it where Jesus calls Peter Satan for setting his mind on man's interests instead of God's. Thus I think it is used in a very holistic sense to mean that one is to set aside their own interests and pursue the interests of God which would certainly include abstaining from sin but would not be relegated only to that. All that to say, I guess my take is that Jesus' command for us to deny ourselves is referring to a life completely fixated upon the goal of pursuing His interests in the world which necessarily results in us refusing to pursue anything that would not be condusive to the manifestation of His kingdom on it sin or just a hindrance to the cause(Hebrews 12:1).

Todd Wright said...

Hey, Austin! Welcome to the blog! Thanks for the input.