Self-denial

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." So spake Jesus to his disciples; and thereby he laid down one of the most definite rules by which his followers might come after him. To that one whose entire ministry was an exemplification of the allness of divine Principle and its idea, the subjugation of so-called material selfhood was both an important and an indispensable step. It was important in the sense that the material self is the supposititious opposite of the perfect, spiritual likeness of God; and it was indispensable in that only through denial of material selfhood can man's spiritual sonship, in Science, appear. Attempting to follow the Wayshower while endeavoring meanwhile to maintain a tenacious grasp upon all that goes to make up the so-called material self, is to be like those to whom the Master significantly alluded as straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

To the worldly-minded individual this demand of the Master to "deny himself" is a "hard saying," even the mystery of godliness. The only self the worldling is capable of recognizing is the false, material self; hence the self-denial he is enjoined to practice seems to involve the giving up of much that he considers desirable, if not positively necessary. Yet the simple truth of Christian Science shows that self-denial does not for an instant mean the giving up of any really good thing. Metaphysically, the only thing it is possible to give up is false belief; for one never can give up God, good. All the material self comprises is a seeming existence apart from God. This is false belief; and the giving up of false belief in any degree will, to that extent, reveal the true man of God's creating.

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Holding up the Hands
September 2, 1922
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