*but for the one who chooses to follow Christ, it gets dramatically more difficult…
In my younger years, I wore a shirt that said this:
It amused some, and irked others and being in a Roman Catholic neighborhood where the school is up the block and the church is a block behind me, and one neighbor flies the Vatican/Papal flag off his front porch…needless to say it got people talking.
Some people took it literally; “why yes I wear a cross around my neck, its encrusted with diamonds and is 22k gold”
Some people were confrontational; “what do you mean by that? What are you saying about me?”
Becoming a Christian, whether you think its wrapped up in a prayer or just an audible confession to God to save you because He alone can save…I won’t mess with that, even tho I think the Western church has tidied up the package and have reduced it to a “say the prayer, get out of Hell” card.
But from there on out, if you choose to be a follower of Christ, if you choose to read the Bible especially the parts written in red…it’s the most difficult thing you can do.
Commands to love your enemies, to pray for those persecute you, to take care of the hungry/orphans/widows/naked/imprisoned, to recognize that wealth is fleeting and it’s not all that important…for starters.
So I ask you the reader, you who align with being a Christian and perhaps being a follower of Christ, does the cross you choose to wear look like
Is it something that takes all your energy to carry it, do you struggle, is there a pull for you to die to yourself and live as Christ did?
Wearing His cross will ruin your life, the Gospel message (unlike what K-Love sells via radio) is not family friendly, it will devastate you and utterly ruin any idea of living a normal life, and some will still face death by those who persecute followers of Christ…but here’s what it can do.
It can change the hearts of individuals, and since everyone has a heart (no matter how dark or hard it is, everyone has one) it can lead to change on a large and sometimes governmental level. It can bring restoration and reconciliation between others, it can make people who have hated each other good friends, it brings life to those who have been dead and so much more!
For those skeptics who are burned or have been burned by Christians and have tainted the Gospel message as a result, I’m sorry. I’m there too even if I’m on the inside. My apologies might seem shallow, and if you want to talk about it feel free to message me…
In closing, I want to say that if you choose to take the road of following Christ it will cost you everything and your identity will no longer be your own. You must die to yourself so that Christ can live through you. It is an adventure that doesn’t end, it is a journey with many twists and turns, it is the most demanding thing anyone can do…but the dividends that you might not see now you will see someday.