Patricia Hofer

George MacDonald on self-denial

George MacDonald describes selective self-denial in this way: “Some seem to take this denial of self to mean that the disciple must go against his likings because they are his likings, must be unresponsive to the tendencies and directions and inclinations that are his, just because they are his. They seem to think something is gained by abstinence from what is pleasant, or by the doing of what is disagreeable—that to thwart the lower nature is in itself a good, independent of God’s work within the man’s soul. … True victory over self is the victory of God in the man, not of the man alone.” (Knowing the Heart of God, p 116)

Throughout this time of compromise, deep in our hearts, we find ways to excuse what we are not willing to deny at all. There are changes that we simply do not want to make. And that’s why these self-centered endeavors and distractions have very little to do with a real spiritual hunger for wholeness of soul. (from Power of Yielding, p. 118)

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