A Novel New Year's Resolution: Self-Abnegation

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Abnegate means: to give up rights or claims; renounce; to deny something to oneself. Self-abnegation means: to give up rights or claims to oneself; to deny oneself oneself. One writer defined it this way: “The setting aside of self-interest for the sake of others or for a belief or principle.”

This verse presents the notion that I, a Christ follower, should give up all rights or claims to my body, placing it under God's control.

The previous verses foretold of a day when the Gentile world would replace the true worship of God with an empty counterfeit. Self is the portrait in the center of this counterfeit. Self-esteem, self-enhancement, self-realization will replace self-sacrifice and self-abnegation. Opposed to such a vain, empty life, Paul, by the Holy Spirit, called upon all followers of Christ to self-abnegate for the Glory of God. It's not about me...


  1. Thought provoking - I've been reading posts on "white knuckle santification"; the 'process' of using struggling with one's sins and shortcomings.

    What are your thoughts comparing self-abnegation and "white knuckle santification"?

  2. Having not read anything on "white knuckle sanctification" it is difficult to run a comparative. But many sanctification schemes focus on bringing self under control in some way, and that control becomes the motive and end in itself. (an endless task) This tends to move the attention to oneself as an attempt is made to modify some behavior to become more "spiritual" or "holy" in God's sight. In many of these schemes a person may be identified as "sanctified" when they overcome various "sins and shortcomings". Much of this is simply self-centered religion.
    True sanctification will always focus our attention away from self to God and His work. We will then tend to battle those things which make us inefficient in His work, which put's God and His work as the motive for our battle with self. I addressed this in my blog posts: Walking In The Light Is Not Complicated; Thou Shalt Not Is Not Enough; and Waiting For Sunrise. A person who is walking in the light will have little time for self.

  3. Very Good,Larry,
    This was the sole intent of Jesus' Sermon on he mount... He openly accuse the most "rightous" and "Spiritual" figures of his time as being "Unworthy" and "Helpless" to change their behavioral condition...And presented them with the law (God's Behavioral Standard)in it's completeness... (Matt 5:48) Be ye therefore "Perfect"... (as pefect in all things including perfection of the mind as God is perfect)... This leaves christans without power to ever change on a behavoral level to meet God's standard... our only hope, then is found in Jesus who is as perfect as God and has made himself a sacrifice for all who beleive... Without Jesus no hope exists...



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