This cross necklace is a simple one I bought a couple of weeks ago after being “challenged” in one of my readings to wear a cross for a week to help me remember the calling of a life lived for Christ.
The first day I wore it, I was so conscious of it being on my neck. I thought, you had better watch everything you do because if you offend anyone or do anything wrong, the people seeing you do that while wearing your cross will have a great excuse to think, “see, I don’t need to believe in God because people like her are what you call Christians.” I even found myself driving better because I wanted to be polite. I suddenly understood the fad of the what would Jesus do bracelets.
A few days of continuous wear later, and I only seemed to remember I was wearing my cross when I caught sight of it in a mirror.
If I can forget a necklace that is hanging around my neck, how often am I forgetting that God sees everything all the time? None of us should need a cross to be on our best behavior because we are always under the eyes of Christ.
Luckily for us, those eyes are forgiving even in judgment. Because of grace, we have the chance to repent of our sins and try to live again as if we are wearing that first-day cross.
I believe it was Philip Yancey who pointed out for me how odd it must seem to non-believers that we choose the cross, which stands for death and brokenness, as a symbol for our salvation. But what they don’t understand is that the death of the cross is the death to sin and re-birth to a new life of the Spirit in Christ that Paul writes so much about. Even Christ Himself refers to this concept when He tells us to “take up your cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23), by which He means we have to choose everyday to say NO to sin and YES to loving others and following God’s word.
So, the cross is still around my neck everyday for now, and I am praying for the consciousness to be aware of its presence and the presence of the One for whom it stands so that I am always on my YES behavior. The light we are supposed to put on the lampstand to shine needs to be the pure light that letting Christ in makes possible.
What cross do you carry? Is it the woe-is-me baggage of a defeated life, the secular world’s definition of “the cross I bear.” Or, is it the death to sin, submission to God’s might in one’s life that is the light yoke of Christ? You don’t have to wear a cross to remind yourself to be on your best behavior. You just have to remember that the eyes that are watching you really see you for who you are–and love you anyway.