Why you won’t hear this four-letter word

Dec 05

I open my mailbox, and the glossed paper tells a story. Maybe it’s a story about modern society. Maybe it’s a story about prosperous times. Maybe it’s a story about me since I look at every single catalog, dog-earing pages and revisiting them. And I do the same with the Sunday paper that spills out on the living room floor.

The story is also told in the 44-ounce big mug at the convenience store.

Or the bottle of Scotch sold by a big box store that costs $17,000.

Or the Triple Burger sold by a freckled-face, pig-tailed redhead, packing a mere 1,120 calories

Or the jacked up Hummer with chromed 22-inch rims that’s never ever seen a dirt road

Or the 60 inch television on sale for $800.



It’s not just possessions. We are excessive in our hook ups and our break ups. We want more love without effort. We want more money without work, more pleasure with less inconvenience.

It seems the four letter word no one wants to use is Deny.

We don’t hear it in the media, as our culture is all about claiming their fair share, their rights, their moment.  Sadly, we don’t hear it from the pulpit, as this is not a popular message in a church bent on bigger is better.

The lessons of hard work, faithful service, and putting others first are lost. We simply don’t tolerate denial in a modern culture.

But we all know in our hearts that there is simplicity in a lack of complexity. There is peace to found in the ease of letting go.

Jesus wants us to deny ourselves – our selfish wants, our material lusts, our immaterial pettiness – and seek first His ways.

Somewhere inside I hear a voice calling me this path. I think the burden of more will ultimately drives me to less.


WHAT HE SAID: “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.”  1 Peter 2. 11


 What do you think? Is denial a virtue, or a vice?



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  1. hisfirefly /

    Yes. YES!! Deny yourself and take up your cross, we don’t hear that enough, if at all.
    It is His way, and if we are to follow Him…

  2. Self discipline with a proper heart and perspective is most definitely a virtue. I ponder the prayer discipline of our Savior while walking here physically and it seems pretty clear, not to mention all the other disciplines in the flesh that started in His spirit.

  3. Whew! None of those examples at the beginning have any appeal to me. I can go on and ride my bike and spend my money on cycling clothes. I can continue paying on my truck for the next 3 years (a truck I could have gotten along without). But i don’t have a problem with those examples. All that nonsense to say; we all have issues with denial. Whether it be from items to buy or following Jesus. it is most definitely a virtue-one I have yet to fulfill willingly at all times.

  4. For sure denial is a virtue. We talk a lot about getting closer to the Lord yet do not actively deny ourselves to get closer. Seems lately I have spent more time thinking about what to buy my grandchildren for Christmas then on the lost. My heart is convicted by your post brother.

  5. What a powerful reminder! Being able to deny our self is a crucial aspect to living a full and fulfilled life. Deny our immediate needs and putting in the hard work allows us to move toward success. Great thoughts here.

  6. I think denial can be either. I think of the Pharisees who fasted so that they could be seen: their denial was wicked. But I do think that our culture tends to the other extreme of never sacrificing and never denying ourselves any pleasures.


  1. Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud - […] It’s not in your mailbox. It’s not on your video screen. It’s the four-letter word you don’t hear. […]

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