Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Origin of Self Denial

The self-denial appeal expresses the spirit of the true believer in Christ. Its origin can be traced back to a gathering in 1886. Commissioner John Carlton, profoundly stirred by a special appeal for money, wrote on a slip of paper which was passed on to the Founder William Booth “By going without pudding every day for a year, I calculate I shall save 50 shillings. This I will do and will remit the amount named."

With his usual keen perception William Booth saw in this proposed act of sacrifice on the part of one officer a means by which the Army might inculcate the spirit of self sacrifice, raise money, and so be enabled to take hold of opportunities hitherto beyond its power.

William Booth read this message to the congregation, “There is an idea here," he remarked. "While we ought not to ask our people to do without pudding for a whole year, I see no reason why we should not ask them to unite in going without something everyday for a week and to give the proceeds to help on the work."

Shortly afterward the first Self Denial week was announced for the United Kingdom alone and resulted in the raising of about 5000 pounds.

In all countries in which the Army is working, every Salvationist and friend of The Salvation Army now has the opportunity to join in an annual self denial effort.
We should practise the spirit of Self Denial. Parents should teach their children the importance of denying ourselves for the benefit of others.
"Those who think that prayer is asking are only beggars. I have not seen any beggar understand the truth of Christianity."

"Every day whenever we spend time in prayer and realize His presence, we must hold these things fast in our heart. Without prayer it is impossible. Prayer is not asking for this thing or that thing, but for the Giver of blessing Himself -- that He may live in us. See how wonderful our Saviour is!"

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