Quite often when we talk about denial we discuss all the things we refuse to face up to. Things like our shortcomings, difficult situations, uncomfortable relationships, really anything we simply feel we can’t deal with (at least at the time). Often though our habitual denial bleeds over into us denying ourselves things that are actually good for us, things that make us feel better.
Consider the denial of the satisfaction of a job well done (or just done) because we also deny our own worth or our own talent. How about denying yourself contentment that you do in fact have enough? Your car, your house, your job, your spouse (sorry for the inadvertent rhyme) even your children are all good, in fact pleasing, yet you still want more or better. At the end of the day you deny yourself a moment or two to reflect on the good things you’ve done over the last twelve hours or so because some voice inside is telling you, you’re just not as good as you should be. Your denial sucks the warmth out of a time that should be affirming and you deny yourself rest when you lay your head on your pillow because, just because.
Perhaps more than anything, fasting, taking a break from denying ourselves these good things is something we desperately need. Because it’s in this respite from reproach we can affirm the love our God has for us. It’s in this stoppage we can know He, the artist of all creation, made us, in His image. And we are good.