by Trey Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenges. Sin. We face these daily. Some are more easily overcome than others, like fighting the urge to drink a Mountain Dew before bedtime (this is more of a challenge for some). Others are a bit more menacing, like fighting the urge to participate in your favorite sin. These are what are known as our “selfish ways.”
In the Gospel of Luke, there is a phrase in a verse that has always stuck with me about our selfish ways. Take a look:
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. If you try to hang onto your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
– Luke 9:23-24
The entirety of both verses capture my attention, but specifically the line that wows me is “take up your cross daily.”
The choices we make determine whether or not we simply get splinters or wrench our back from the cross we bear.
Our choices are made by how confident we are in our faith and how willing we are to turn from our own selfishness. But it boils down to a statement Phil Wilson, Lead Pastor of the Bridge Fellowship in Lebanon, Tennessee, said in a recent sermon: WE CAN CHOOSE OUR WAY OR GOD’S WAY. We often choose our way. This is a heavy cross to carry – and a burden we put on ourselves. The irony is, it doesn’t have to be as heavy as we make it since Jesus has already carried the cross for us all that covers the burden of sin.
You see, it was through his sacrifice, he was able to save us from the wickedness in our sinful hearts we are born with. This may sound a little “fire and brimstone” to the passive or new Christian. But the fact is, this is the crux of what we believe as Christians.
We can’t escape sin. And we will always have a cross to bear – each and every day. But we do have a say in how much we have to carry. By turning away from our selfish ways to follow him, we redirect that weight back to Jesus who lifts us out of sin.
We all have our daily crosses to carry. The question is, will you take up your cross daily and follow Jesus, or falter under the heavy burden of your sin? It’s our way or God’s way. Which way will it be for you?