Okay, I need to get this off my chest. I have been hearing a phrase lately that really bothers me. I don’t know if I have been hearing it because we are in the Easter season, or if it is getting more use in our everyday language, but it is being used inappropriately in my opinion. There are two variations of said phrase and they are, “It’s my cross to bear” and “It’s his cross to bear.”
When Jesus says in Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” He is not talking giving up chocolate for Lent and he isn’t talking about living with the consequences of something you shouldn’t have done. There seems to be a popular movement to reduce being a Christian to something akin to being in the midst of an exercise phase.
Everyone has either been there or knows someone who was. For a while that’s all you talk about, think about and well do a bit, maybe even quite a bit. There is the exercise specific garb, the accessories and even the insider language. The whole idea occupies an important place in your life and your daily routine – for a while. I don’t know anyone who has spent their entire life with exercise as a vital part of their daily routine, it runs hot and cold, depending on a variety of factors.
I hate to say this, but being a Christian seems to be very much the same way for many people as well, and when people say, “It’s my cross to bear” I know it’s one of those folk. The kind of people who don’t understand that bearing a cross means much more than that person is referring to. Bearing a cross means authentically, means a lifetime commitment to living out Jesus’ message through sacrifice and service. It means giving when there is a need and not counting the cost. It means standing for justice when it isn’t popular or fun. It means committing one’s life to Jesus’ command in Luke 10:27.