Today’s verse is one that recently came into focus for me. There was a time I wrestled with the idea of taking up my cross daily. Crucifixion is brutal and the cruelest form of execution humans ever devised. That isn’t necessarily a comfy-cozy idea about living with God, is it? But that’s the point. We tend toward the path of least resistance, choosing comfort over conflict. God’s way runs contrary to the world’s way, so a choice must be made — continue to live seeking worldly comfort, or deny that instinct and choose to live like Jesus.
This era of cancel culture puts some serious skin on the bones with this concept. People are quickly and brutally “canceled” when they go against the so-called wisdom of the age. So when Jesus talked about taking up your cross daily, I think it is safe to assume that we must choose to become cultural criminals to follow Him. There will be a sense of loss with things of the world when you choose to follow Jesus, but as Christ said, “if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
God’s ways are unpopular today, but they always have been. Make that faith-filled choice to do the hard thing by denying instincts for comfort, being willing to stand out as a cultural criminal, and follow Jesus. It will be challenging, no doubt about that, but you’ll always be in good company, and the benefits are out of this world!