Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24
Let me ask you a question, have you ever made the statement, “That’s just the way I am?” Do you take pride in that? Are we not Christians? And doesn’t the Word Christian mean, one that is striving to be Christlike? It is not okay for a believer to place his or her personality above their responsibility to live in a way that pleases the Lord. It is not okay for a child of God to be stuck up; It is not okay for a saint to be arrogant; it is not okay for one that is Born Again to be mean spirited; it is not okay for the one who claims the name of Christ to tell folks off, cuss people out or lie just to get your way, and turn around and say, “…That’s just the way I am.” Something is terribly wrong. In fact, all of these traits exposes one that is defiant and disobedience to the Word of God; it shows one that is not willing to deny his or herself. Now remember, I am talking about the individual who claims the name of Christ; the one that says they are born again.
When we look at the statement Jesus made, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” The key part of the verse is, “…let him deny himself…” those four words destroys any notion that, “That’s just the way I am.” No! Not if you are a child of God! You and I have to be what God’s Word calls us to be, and that is an imitator of Jesus. Let me ask you, when did you ever read about Jesus telling someone off because they ticked Him off? Or when did Jesus ever turn His head away from someone and act like He didn’t see them in order not to speak to them? Or to whom was Jesus ever mean spirited to? And to whom did Jesus ever lie to just to get His way, and say “That’s just the way I am, so deal with it?”
Do not try to justify your actions by saying, “well that’s just me.” I sure hope not, not if you are striving to be a Christian. Think about the message that sends to unbelievers; they really don’t see anything different from themselves. Look, I understand that when one first comes to know Christ, there are things that they are immature in; there is much growing that must happen. But if you have been saved for awhile and you are still acting that way, you may want to do a lot of self-examination, and repentance. Let’s face it, there is no way that anyone of us should be bragging and saying, “That’s just the way I am.” Learn to deny yourself right now, because it is painful when the Lord has to break you.
Your servant in Christ,