Take Up Your Cross… Daily?
For most of us, the cross is a religious symbol. It hangs on the wall of a church or on a chain around our neck. And what we do with the cross physically usually happens in our minds too. We think about the cross at church on Sunday. After all, it’s a “church” thing.
But Jesus didn’t see the cross as a mere religious symbol. And He didn’t want His followers to see it that way either. We know this because of one single word He used as He defined what it meant to follow Him…
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross DAILY, and follow me. - Luke 9:23 (NLT)
Daily? As in, every day? Taking up our crosses means dying to self, laying aside our own agendas, ambitions, preferences, and comforts. It means following Jesus and thinking of others no matter the sacrifice necessary… daily.
With that one word – “daily” – Jesus denied us the ability to think of cross-bearing as a mere religious thing for Sundays. All of a sudden it’s:
- Laying aside our right to be right in every argument.
- Deciding not to take revenge and make things even.
- Choosing to forgive and release people from their debts to us.
- Putting the needs of others before our own.
- Loving a spouse who doesn’t love us back equally.
- Working hard for a boss who doesn’t reward us accordingly.
Don’t misunderstand. None of these equal dying on a cross. But they embody the spirit of dying to self. And if we can die to self, we can become everything God has in mind for us to be.