When Jesus says that following Him means laying down my selfishness and picking up my cross, I wince a little bit. I am… selfish. I don’t even like to share my fries (seriously, don’t eat my fries).
Does taking up our cross mean being willing to literally die for someone else? Maybe.
But it’s more than that. It’s being willing to LIVE for someone else.
To lay down what is convenient and comfortable, to give up your precious “me” time, to allow yourself to be interrupted by and invested in the needs of others, to do your best to live a life that isn’t actually about yourself—that is great love. That is a cross-shaped life.
It is not normal. It is not easy. And I’m not very good at it yet.
To live a life of earnest service and honest love, not for showmanship, or self-gratification, or under obligation—I think it must be very hard.
Following Jesus in this way promises no riches, no beauty, no fame, no romance, no worldly success. Why do it? Why try? Why pick up a cross and put others before self at all?
Well, because that is real love. To deny me for the sake of thee. Plus, it’s how we were MADE to live. We won’t find satisfaction until we know surrender. We won’t find contentment without cruciformity. God hardwired us to hunger for love, showed us what love looks like in Jesus, and gave us the Spirit to help take us from selfishness to servanthood so that we can love others.
And besides, my hunch remains that to live this way is the secret to a meaningful life. A life that I hope, when I die, I will have known was very much worth living.
One of the best ways to live a selfless life is by serving. Head here to find some ways you can serve with Southland!