Depression and Denying Self

moth-with-cross-design

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Denying self. What does this mean? For years, I thought it meant denying self-worth. Statements like, “You don’t deserve (finish this sentence with any good thing, want, or idea)”, “You’re a worthless sinner”, “You’re not good enough” went through my head, and I let them have free reign. (And then those thoughts took the reigns, cut them, and let the worst run free inside me, and it nearly destroyed me. But that’s another post for another day.) While it is true that we are all sinners, Christ died for us all, and I believe that.

He made our sins as white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)

Depression took a truth as Satan did when Jesus was in the wilderness, and twisted it into something that it was not ever meant to say.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” (Note: Satan is misquoting Psalm 91:11&12)

Jesus said unto him, “It is written again, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ ”

Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, “All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’ ”

Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

(Matthew 4: 1-11)

In reality, a twisted truth is a crafty way to say, “lie.”

Verses are intended to be read in context. Sometimes it is possible to take a verse and then apply it to a situation that it was not addressing.

That is dangerous. Very dangerous.

It misleads the soul.

Denying self and denying self-worth are entirely different things. What I believe “denying self” means is what Paul spoke of in Romans 8: deny the wants of the flesh self and walk after the Spirit. 🙂

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23 thoughts on “Depression and Denying Self

  1. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith! At times, I write about depression on my blog. What you remind us of is very important…to take time in prayer and talk with God about the content of His Word. Also to use discernment when we hear other people interpret the Word of God.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 ♥

      I went through your archives a few weeks ago to find those posts and I thank you for sharing your walk of faith; it was very encouraging. 😊

      Yes! 🙂 Praying and speaking to Him about His word is important. Oh yes, discernment is also very important. 😊

      Like

  2. I believe that denying self is glorifying to our Lord while denying self-worth is sin. When we deny self we are saying that His way is the way we choose to walk, His words are the words we choose to follow, we let God rule over us and we honor Him as Lord, rather than putting ourselves in that position. When we deny our self-worth, we are calling God’s creation in His image worthless … and Jesus did not die for a worthless creation, Rather, that thinking is Satan’s attempt to keep our eyes off Jesus Christ and out of His Word. It is true that creation has fallen because of sin and we are all sinners, but that does not equate to lack of love from our Savior. He died for a sinful creation so that our sin could be erased by His blood and His righteousness. Thank you for your post and for your willingness to share your journey with us. Blessings to you today.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree with you! 🙂

      That is a fantastic point! 🙂 Denying self is honoring Him, while denying self-worth is implying that Jesus died for a worthless creation. I hadn’t thought of it quite like that before. Yes, He died because He loves us sinners. 🙂 And thank you so much for your comment! ♥ Blessings to your as well! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very good post…especially when yo say we need to study in context to get the true meanings from God’s word. Yes, denying self is to take the will of the Lord and put it above your own. We do as God commands instead of what our fleshly desires want. It may be hard to do at times, and we may “slip” back into sin, but He forgives His children who repent and try to follow Him again. Living a Christian life is a process with a learning curve. Thank the Lord that He has grace and patience!

    Steve

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you! 😊 ♥

      “…denying self is to take the will of the Lord and put it above your own.” I like how you worded that. 🙂 It is hard at times, but He is worth it, and I am so thankful for His mercy and forgiveness when I slip and fall flat on my face. 🙂

      “Living a Christian life is a process with a learning curve.” I hadn’t thought of it quite like that. How true!

      Yes, so thankful that He has grace and patience! He is so merciful. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Grace! I thank you for reading as always and appreciate your nice compliments/comments. It is good that the Lord allows for a “learning curve” in life. I “slip” all the time, sometimes I don’t even realize it until after its done! I just try to sin less in the future than I have in the past. We will all fall on our faces, there is no question of that. We just can’t let sin define us or our way of life…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Steve! Aww. 😊 Thank you for reading and I appreciate your nice comments back to me. 🙂

          Oh yes, definitely! It makes us lean on Him more that way. 🙂

          I know what you mean there. And then I feel so bad that I let Him down. Again. I am so thankful for His mercy.

          Yes! Because He forgives all our iniquities (Psalm 103:3. I love that Psalm and how it lists how loving and good He is to us so specifically. 😀) and then He removes our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12) That’s hard for me to comprehend. I have a hard time letting it go… forgiving and forgetting is difficult, especially when it’s me. I’m in constant awe of His grace. ♥

          Liked by 2 people

          • How are you today, Grace? Aren’t the Psalms beautiful? I believe you are studying them at the moment. Hope that’s going well for you.

            People who are in awe of His grace are the ones who understand how much God loves, and how much He gave us and continues to give us. God’s grace is the most wonderful gift ever given! It wipes away all sins, for all of His children at a great cost to Him. You realize that so deeply and that’s the way it should be.

            (Don’t feel guilty for past, forgiven sins. They don’t exist anymore. Keep your eye on the prize, forgetting what is in the past, and move forward!)…

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m glad I read your post this evening. I need a reminder of what I’ve sought to do since I became more committed to praising God by my actions and way of life.

    I need to deny myself in the situation I am facing – it’s not easy or comfortable because we might feel that our enemies are getting the upper hand. But experience has shown me that God’s way – the peaceful, loving way – prevails in the long run. In the meantime, we must pray through our hurts and sorrows hoping things will turn for the better soon. When I deny myself, I don’t always allow myself to be a doormat to others or be used and abused, but I put a lot of effort into pausing before reacting. It allows me to put things in perspective and make my best attempt to approach a situation in a manner that would be pleasing to God.

    It’s important that we properly equip ourselves for the attacks of Satan and this world by studying the Word of God. Studying the Bible will ensure that we are not lead astray or confused when others say things that contradict our Heavenly Father. We must not allow people to take bits and pieces of the Word of God and confuse us or press on our weaknesses. Studying the Word of God reminds of God’s promise, and we must not lose hope. Studying the Word of God reminds of that we are Children of God, we are amazing, and we are deeply loved!

    I pray you feel better soon. I pray that through the strength and love of God you are able to overcome your depression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. Thank you for your comment; haha, it made me a bit teary-eyed reading it. :’)

      Yes, God’s way is always best. 🙂 Pausing before reacting is really hard to do at times; but it is worth it for Him! I’ll pray for you and your situation. 🙂

      Yes, we must equip ourselves with the armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6:10 – 17! (And the pieces of armor mentioned in many other places.)

      “Studying the Word of God reminds of that we are Children of God, we are amazing, and we are deeply loved!” Amen! 😀

      Thank you so much! ♥ It has really improved over the past year; I’m anxious for it to be defeated once and for all, of course, but He is slowly but surely winning the battle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Mistaken Humility | Following Him Beside Still Waters

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