“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.’” Mark 8:34,35 (ESV)
As unpopular as the message of this passage is…the meaning is clear. If anyone wants to follow Jesus, they must learn the habit of self-denial. That applies even to us in medicine.
Self-denial is not an attitude we can suddenly decide to adopt and expect to be successful immediately. It takes practice because it’s a process. But the sooner we begin living the self-denying life…the sooner we gain our life.
But what does self-denial in medicine look like?
It is being more concerned about the care of patients than our own comfort. One of the common ways this issue pops up is when we are on call. The phone rings during dinner or just before we get into bed. A patient needs us, and we are faced with a choice. Do I go back into the hospital…or do I find a way to put that patient off until the next morning?
Jesus tells us to put aside our selfish desires…and serve.
Or take the example of giving up some of that comfortable salary in order to be able to take care of those who cannot pay as you share the Gospel with them.
Now that’s a life on it’s way to being saved…
Prayer: Lord, show me today how You want me to take up my cross!