Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16:24 How well do you take up your cross and follow Jesus? Most, if not all, professing Christians want to follow Jesus and go to where He is, to be with Him and even to glorify His name above their own. But how well do we do this? Do we actually even do this? Do we grumble along the way? Do we complain and justify our complaints? Do we gladly suffer all things? Do we sing as we follow?Is praise found on our lips .... or something else? Do we get distracted by the things of the world. Do we prioritise following Jesus after doing things that make our lives more comfortable and pleasing? Do we find ourselves doing a bit of men-pleasing along the way or do we stay focussed on pleasing Him Who calls us to follow? Do you rate your following Jesus outside of taking up your cross, meaning, do we consider that because we do all sorts of other things like Bible reading, going to 'Church', praying, giving cash to the 'church', living a socially acceptable life, that we don't really have to bother with taking up our cross? I can't imagine that carrying a cross all day is an easy task. Add to it the jeering and mockery, the hate and insults, the physical handicaps (beatings of life?) the sadness we face daily, the dashed dreams of a good life, the financial struggles we all seem to face at least occasionally, the daily tasks or work we find ourselves doing, etc, etc, etc, and the joy could easily become a heavy burden or a reason to lash out or seek revenge or just improve our lot. But do we retaliate? Do we bite and devour one another along the way? Do we build each other up? Do we help each other? Do we want justice done? Do we want an easier cross or at least an easier road to walk? I think if we are honest, we have probably all failed to walk humbly all the way, no matter how heavy and gnarly it gets. Surely justice is OK to expect, especially for those who wrong us or our loved ones or something or someone we care about? Do we agree to this? OK, let's say we do.... Justice must be even balances, for all. Hang on... the wages of sin is death and all have sinned... so that means that justice demands the death penalty for us all... you, me and everyone else! Now look at the One Who died for the sins of the world... yours, mine and everyone's... and see the injustice of justice being waived for us.... do we still scream out for justice? The cross we carry doesn't have to lead to a real life crucifixion in order to be real. There are many trials and temptations, much evil and darkness and deception. There are lies and hatred, laziness and aggression, there is mockery and poverty, disease and corruption, greed and tyranny, sadness and depression.... and much more... much, much more, all of which can either make us or break us. It depends on how you carry your cross and follow Jesus. Finally, do we carry it for Him, our cross, that is? Lots to consider and I invite you to share your honest valuation of your own walk following the Saviour. Confess and encourage because it will help not only you but also others who read your replies. What has helped you? What have you learnt? Any tips for each other? Bless you ....><> p.s. you can choose multiple choices in the poll and change your vote at any time. The votes are counted but your name is not so it is safe to vote anonymously.