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Why does Jesus ask us to deny ourselves?

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Christian Today

Reuters

Dying to self is one of the major themes all Christians are taught in the Bible. What does dying to self mean and why should we do it?

What dying to self means

The Bible teaches us to die to ourselves. Simply put, it means we must “deny” ourselves – our sinful, worldly, and fleshly desires, thoughts, lusts, and longings (see Colossians 3:5-10). It’s a very strong command, one that came from the very mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

Contrary to how some understand it, denying ourselves doesn’t mean castigating or treating ourselves harshly. It doesn’t automatically mean saying “no” to that

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