Wearing or Bearing?
I have a gold cross. Many people do. Many people wear them openly and proudly.
The cross is a cherished symbol. We should wear one, if we choose, with gratitude for what it symbolizes: Jesus knowingly, willingly, laid down His life to pay the price for rebellion against God (what the Bible calls “sin”).
But I have a question for you: Are you just wearing one or are you bearing one? I think there is a difference.
What I mean is that wearing a cross is making a statement about ourselves. Wearing a cross is the result of our will, our desires, our plans, our agenda. We are declaring part of our identity: We are communicating what we believe. But the focus is still on us.
Bearing a cross is making a statement about Jesus. Jesus told those who would follow, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Bearing a cross means dying to our will, our desires, our plans, our agenda. We are declaring that our identity is not what matters: We are communicating that we believe in Someone. So the focus is on Jesus. Because He took up His cross for us, we take up our cross and follow Him.
Is there anything wrong with wearing a cross? Not at all. I’m glad if you do. We all need a little reminder now and then.
Sometimes, though, we need more than a reminder. We need to hear someone tell the good news about Jesus and back it up by following Him. If we need people who follow Jesus to wear crosses, we need even more people who follow Jesus to bear crosses.
If you’re going to wear one, let me encourage you to bear one as well.
So, how about you? Are you just wearing your cross or are you bearing it too?