I read something this morning that hit me as being so profound, I just have to share it. I came across this while doing some study on the verse, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Credit for this quote goes to someone named Dr. Fred Craddock. I googled him (of course) and found he is a professor of theology at Emory University. After all the credentials were listed, the article said, “Often characterized as preaching with a style that is ‘folksy’, Craddock is a strong supporter of using humor in sermons.” I knew I liked this guy. Here’s what my friend Fred had to say to me this morning:
“We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table – ‘Here’s my life, Lord, I’m giving it all.’ But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid’s troubles instead of saying, ‘Get lost.’ Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home.
“Usually giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It’s done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it’s harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.”
So, denying myself may mean intentionally NOT making the big thousand dollar-type sacrifice, but faithfully unloading twenty-five-centers when no one is paying any attention. So, what does that look like played out in everyday life? How do we deny ourselves?