Reading Thomas a Kempis’ book, The Imitation of Christ is challenging me in the area of “denying myself.”
Kempis tells us that “a man’s spiritual progress lies in the denying of himself, and the man who has renounced himself is the man who is most free and enjoys the greatest security” (p. 136).
This is a challenge for me.
I often want to work hard and enjoy the fruits of my labor by seeing people served and lives changed. However, I believe part of denying myself is learning to do my work because it is what God wants me to do, not because I want to feel important knowing I have served others.
Taking this topic even deeper, Thomas Merton informs us in Bridges to Contemplative Living that in order “to reach our true awareness of Him as well as ourselves, we have to renounce our selfish and limited self” (p. 44).
This is something I think I can improve in my life and often pray about as well. I often pray, “God show me your will. What you want me to do, I will do.” I believe those types of prayers are good for me to learn to forget about myself and focus on Him.
Question: Do you have to deny yourself in anything you do? Why or why not?