And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
Nobody said this was going to be easy. The choice to be a follower of Christ is not one to be taken lightly. Deciding to follow Christ is a serious step. One must count the cost, be willing to carry the burden, and put his own life after Christ’s life. Just as Jesus took up His cross of suffering for us we need to be willing to take up our cross and follow Him. It means that we give up our life for His. Just like He gave up Himself for us we need to give up ourselves for Him.
This idea is seen in place like the Sermon on the Mount and in Peter’s word to the scattered church. It may mean, for some people, a radical change of life where we give up all we have for Christ and dash off across the world to share His word.
It may, and sometimes does. But more often it is notion of living where we are and shining the light of Christ and shaking the salt of the word of God to people we already know and who already know us. It means that we be the best citizens of our land, submitting to our government and its leaders. It means that we are the hardest workers on our job and seek to please our bosses. It means that we be the best husbands and wives because our homes are the surest way of showing the world what salvation looks like. It means that we are the best neighbours, always seeking to put the needs of others above our own.
It means that it is not all about us.