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MAIN TENENTS OF JAINISM
Jains reject belief in a creator god and seek release from endless reincarnation through a life of strict self-denial. The title of Jina is given to those who are believed to have triumphed over all material existence. As all human activity accumulates karma, the force that perpetuates reincarnation, the only way to free one’s jiva, or soul, from the bondage of material existence is by reducing this activity through ascetic practice. In addition, Jainism places a special emphasis on ahimsa ("non-injury") to all living beings. The concern for life is extended to all creatures, even minute microbes that are not visible. The Jain ideal is a mendicant ascetic who takes extreme measures to avoid injuring all creatures. Monks and nuns are sometimes seen with muslin cloths over their mouths to keep out flying insects, and they are enjoined to use small brooms to gently sweep away living creatures from their path, so as to not accidentally crush them.
IT COSTS SOMETHING TO BE CHRISTIAN
"It costs something to be a true Christian. Let that never be forgotten. To be a (lukewarm) Christian, and go to church, is cheap and easy work. But to hear Christ’s voice, follow Christ, believe in Christ, and confess Christ, requires much self-denial. It will cost us our sins, our self-righteousness, our ease, and our worldliness. ALL must be given up. Our Lord Jesus Christ would have us thoroughly understand this. He bids us count the cost."
--J. C. Ryle
Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware.
“The cost of true greatness is humble, selfless, sacrificial service. The Christian who desires to be great and first in the kingdom is the one who is willing to serve in the hard place, the demanding place, the place where he is not appreciated and may even be persecuted. Knowing that time is short and eternity is long, he is willing to spend and be spent. He is willing to work for excellence without becoming proud, to withstand criticism without becoming bitter, to be misj...
"Integrity is the first step to true greatness. Men love to praise, but are slow to practice it. To maintain it in high places costs self-denial; in all places it is liable to opposition, but its end is glorious, and the universe will yet do it homage."
There never did and never will exist anything permanently noble and excellent in a character which was a stranger to the exercise of resolute self-denial.
“Fasting can be a form of body praying… [But] fasting has nearly ceased to be practiced among us as a religious duty. It has been replaced by other forms of self-denial. One of the most common of those among us is dieting, which is largely cosmetic and therapeutic. What is there to say about it? Perhaps only this: How much happier we should all be if persons who diet would just shut up about it!...The couplet that used to be quoted to those who quit smoking could well be modified and recited for dieters:
‘Giving up eating too much isn’t enough,
It’s giving up bragging about it that’s tough.’”
[John C. Purdy, “Returning God’s Call, 51]
"Football is like lifeit requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedicatio...
In Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry Blackaby makes this powerful statement:
"The Bible is the record of God accomplishing His purposes through His people. It is not the record of His people's walk with Him. It's a difference of focus. The focus of the Bible is God. The essence of sin is a shift from a God-centeredness to a self-centeredness. The essence of salvation is a denial of self, not an affirming of self. We must come to a denial of self and a return to a God-centeredness with our lives. Then God has us where He can accomplish through us purposes He had before He created the world."
JOHN STOTT ON TEMPTATION
"The command to get rid of troublesome eyes, hands and feet
is an example of our Lord’s use of dramatic figures of speech. What he was advocating was not a literal physical self-maiming, but a ruthless moral self-denial...to reject sinful practices so resolutely that we die to them or put them to death.
"What does this involve in practice?" asks Stott. "Let me elaborate and so interpret Jesus' teaching: If your eye causes you to sin because temptation comes to you through your eyes (objects you see), then pluck out your eyes. That is, don’t look! Behave as if you had actually plucked out your eyes and flung them away, and were blind and so could not see the objects which previously caused you to sin.
"Again, if your hand or foot causes you to sin, because temptation comes to you through your hands (things you do) or your feet (places you visit), then cut them off. That is: don’t do it! Don’t go! Behave as if you had actually cut off your hands and feet, and had flung them away, and were now crippled and so could not do the things or visit the places which previously caused you to sin.'"
--John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, The Bible Speaks Today, p. 89.