The Service of Self-Denial

But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men -Philippians 2:7

There is a will-worship which is practised in the Church of Rome of self-denials which are absurd, and must, I think, be hateful in the sight of God rather than pleasing to Him. Saint Bernard was a man whom I admire to the last degree, and I count him to be one of the Lord’s choice ones; yet in the early part of his life there is no doubt that he lessened his powers of usefulness to a large extent by the emaciation which he endured, and the way in which he brought himself to death’s door….There is no need to inflict useless torture upon the body. When did the Saviour thus behave Himself? Point me to a single mortification of a needless kind. Enough self-denials come naturally in every Christian man’s way to make him try whether he can deny himself in very deed for the Lord’s sake… When weary and worn, still to be busy; to deny yourself things which may be allowable, but which, if allowable to you, would be dangerous to others-this also is like the Lord. Such self-denial as may be helpful to the weak you ought to practice. Think what Christ would do in such a case, and do it; and, whenever you can glorify Him by denying yourself, do it. So walk as He did who made Himself of no reputation, but took upon Himself the form of a servant. and who, though He was rich, brought Himself down to poverty for our sake, that we might be rich unto God. Think of that. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


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