"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Mark 8:34
Yesterday I wrote about how carrying your cross is about self-denial and submission to God. That is what it is about, but I believe there is more to be found out about carrying your cross. A couple of days I mentioned that our cross is not His cross. My friend Carolina added that my cross is not her cross. She must have looked at my notes because I couldn't agree more with her.
So, if my cross and Carolina's cross aren't the same then carrying your cross is about more than just self-denial and submission.
I want to steal an idea from Craig Groeschel's book Weird and put a different wording on it. In Craig's chapter in Weird about values he prayed that we be blessed with a burden. That sounds strange, doesn't it? Groeschel argues in this chapter that God wants us to have a divinely given burden. I call it a Holy Burden.
What is a Holy Burden? Well, it's different for me than it is for you, most of the time. Well, then how do we hind it?
Craig says, and I agree, that we find our Holy Burden by figuring out what righteously angers us. For Moses and Martin Luther King Jr. it was the oppression of their brothers. For you it might be seeing people starve. For someone else it may be kids that are picked on.
Find out or examine in your heart what angers you. Then avoid the sin that the anger could ignite and instead do something positive in light of that anger. If you hate seeing starving people; feed them. If you hate seeing people not growing in their faith; teach them. Do something about this righteous anger because it is a gift from God.
Find out what ignites your heart to jump into action. This thing is your Holy Burden. This is, in many ways not all ways, your cross. Take up your cross and follow Him!
I will warn you not to place your Holy Burden or cross on someone else. God has given us different crosses so that the entirety of His will is accomplished through the work of His saints.
Love the cross you have been given. Do not be ashamed of it even if it is a cross that doesn't put you in the limelight like the cross of another might do. Everything done for Jesus' name is important no matter what men might think.
Pick up your cross and follow Jesus today.