It is known as self-denial to the action or attitude of giving up desires or interests for the benefit of other people. The term abnegation is of Latin origin “abnegatio“.
Self-denial can be seen as a sacrifice on the part of the individual to give up their own interests or things desired and valued for the good of others. On the other hand, it can be related to love, solidarity, help for the individual as it shows a selfless renunciation of everything that could have or enjoy for the sake of another. A mother is the best example since she sacrifices everything for her children to give her happiness and a better future, as well as a wife who quits her job for surrendering to her home, among other examples.
The term self-denial is strongly linked to religion when the faithful or followers are appreciated to assume behaviors of total dedication and commitment to the practice of their religious doctrine. However, there are professions that require an attitude of self-denial on the part of workers, such as: the military who renounces his wishes in defense of the Fatherland, nurses or doctors renounce their ideas, tastes in the welfare of their patients, Bodies and State Security Forces renounce their will to safeguard the inhabitants of a country, and so on.
On the other hand, in the literary context, self-denial is one of the 5 factions in the world of the Divergent series. Divergent, it is a series written by the American Verónica Roth, she divides the population of Chicago into 5 factions: truth, scholarship, cordiality, boldness and self-denial. The protagonist, Beatrice Prior, later called “Tris”, was created in Abnegation, the product of her parents’ teaching.
The synonyms of self-denial are: altruism, generosity, sacrifice, selflessness, renunciation, among others.
In English, the word abnegation is “abnegation.” However, the term “self-sacrifice” is used when it comes to one’s own sacrifice.
Abnegation as a value
Self-denial is the opposite of selfishness. Self-denial constitutes a positive value, in which a person gives without receiving anything in return, does it with total freedom, and feeling satisfaction and joy in helping and providing joy to another person. Self-denial is intended to achieve the highest good since otherwise it would be in the presence of another term, which is why man is in a continuous self-denial because he sacrifices some goods to achieve another that produces happiness for himself and his family .
Ascetic self-denial is intimately related to asceticism, philosophical and religious doctrine that consists in the renunciation of material pleasures, with the aim of achieving moral and spiritual perfection.
Abnegation in religion
In Christianity, self-denial is linked to the self-renouncement of the individual and their own interests, as indicated by Luke (9: 23-24): “And he said to all: If anyone wants to come after me, deny yourself, take your cross every day, and follow me. Because everyone who wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. ”
Every Christian must renounce every act that goes against the word of God, and faithfully fulfill the commandments dictated by him. In this sense, self-denial implies having self-control before the feelings, passions and thoughts that the human being faces daily, that is why self-denial must be seen as a discipline that must be fulfilled with constancy and tenacity.