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Take up the Cross

Frank had a problem, and it was something that he’d been dealing with all his life. What was this problem? Frank would always fall into the wrong way of thinking—the wrong way of looking at a situation; getting lost in himself and allowing fear and frustration to overwhelm him. It effected his relationship with his family, the people he worked with, and those he thought were his friends. Actually, Frank didn’t have many friends, because he would eventually end up in some kind of disagreement with them which would lead to arguing, and then severed ties.

Basically Frank was a very insecure person. Perhaps he was made to feel that he wasn’t measuring up or that he wouldn’t amount to anything.

The other thing was that Frank took himself way too seriously. This made him thin-skinned and difficult to talk to. He rarely listened to another’s advice. To sum it all up, sadly, Frank was his own worst enemy. It’s as if he created his own prison and has never been able to find a way to break out!

I found this helpful quote which I’d like to share with you: “Our real prison is ourselves: our limited perception of reality, our narrow-mindedness and narrow-heartedness. Experience often shows that we break out of this prison and open new horizons by accepting situations we haven’t chosen, and so come to perceive a deeper dimension of reality, more rich and beautiful.”

Most of us realize that life sometimes leads us down paths we haven’t chosen but which we must consent to out of love. But this consent becomes a source of grace. And that is why it is especially important to make sure that we have our sights set on Christ and pray everyday so that we can more readily understand the voice of Jesus in our life.

The cross can really help us to do that. The cross forces us to make a decision. In the face of the cross do we go with Christ or run away. Do we get lost in ourselves or trust enough to go the path that has less guarantees but is moving in the right direction as far as Christ is concerned? Do we believe in the Promises made to us or would we rather rely on our own powers of reasoning?

Christ says to Peter, “Get behind me Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as humans do.” When the temptation comes to us to give in to the wrong way of thinking, we need to say the same thing: “Get behind me, Satan. I’m not going to listen to your words that bring me anxiety and turmoil. I know that those feelings are not of God. I will turn my attention on trying to do what is pleasing to God, even though it might involve a risk”.

So, take up the cross—-make that decision to go with Christ even though it may seem a little scary. The cross will help you break free of the prison (of your own making). Remember, God is always bringing us newness. This is most especially found in the message of his Son, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross, so that we might be freed from our bad way of thinking.

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