Death and Life
There is a paradox in the life of a Christian: In order to live, one must die. If one hopes to become great, one must first become little. Jesus says from the beginning that if people want to follow him, then they must deny themselves and pick up their cross. Self-denial, difficulties, crosses and suffering are a constitutive part of the Christian life. They are not optional. In a world of supreme extravagance, choosing less or going without is countercultural, but being a Christian is always supposed to be countercultural.
LUKE 9: 23-25
If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?