Mark 8:34 (ESV)
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
It is easy to make things all about you. In fact, that’s one’s natural inclination. Selfishness, being focused on self, being interested first and foremost in self before anyone else…we start out that way as infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers and many, perhaps most, of us never really grow into someone better.
Christianity requires us to be different.
Jesus teaches us that denying self is a must, a necessity. Instead of pleasing us first, we “seek first His kingdom and righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). Instead of loving ourselves first, we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…(and) love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).
What Paul said about himself must be what we say about ourselves, Christians:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Is that true of you and me? Think about that today. Pray about it. Make whatever changes need to be made.