Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cross or Crutch?

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
How many times have we heard someone say, "that's just the cross I have to bear"? Many of us toss around that phrase to describe daily burdens, dealing with difficult people or overcoming difficult situations. In context, Jesus is talking about denying self. It is about saying "no" to my wants and wishes and saying yes to Jesus and that which promotes kingdom growth. It is about taking "me" out of the picture and focusing on the Lord and His work. And sometimes that does indeed require bearing a burden or dealing with difficult people and difficult situations.
However, I think the phrase is often used as a crutch. It is an excuse to have a bad attitude. I may not like the place I live, the job I have or the place I worship. I may not like the folks I have daily contact with. And so, I sigh (a great big sigh) and say, "Oh well, this is just the cross I have to bear". I make sure everyone I come into contact with, knows I am an unwilling participant in my life. I make sure they all know how difficult it is to be me. I insist that my "sacrifice" be noticed. And I milk it for all its worth.
The idea that obeying Christ's mandate to take up my cross gives me an excuse to behave so ungodly is ludicrous. Remember that the next part of the text, right after the taking up your cross, says follow Jesus. And the part right before it says deny yourself. The cross bearing is an action sandwiched between an attitude and a purpose. When we use cross bearing as a crutch for a bad attitude, we are not denying ourselves and our purpose changes. Our new purpose is evoking sympathy and flattery from those around us.
Sure, we all have a cross to bear. But we must remember that Jesus went willingly to the cross. In the garden He asked if there was any other way. When there was none, He willingly, resolutely, without complaint, went to His death. He did it on His own, without a crutch, without an attitude and He did it to save us. Following Him requires more than doing what He did, it requires becoming like Him--having the same attitude. It means denying "me" and taking up my cross everyday, as I journey toward Heaven, singing all the way.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are great
When the holidays are over I will start looking at ways to have more folks using your lessons

In Him
J. Tom Washburn

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Neva
This is great! After the holidays I will do what I can for us to work together and to get as many people as possible to visit your site.

In Him
J. Tom Washburn

9:44 AM  

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