What does it mean to take your cross upon yourself?

Jesus said that in order to become His disciple, you must “take up your cross.” How can we do this?

What does it mean to take your cross upon yourself?
The condition for those who want to be disciples is to take up their cross.
“But He said to all: if anyone wants to follow Me, deny yourself, and take up your cross, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.

What did Jesus mean when He said that you must take up your cross?

“Taking up your cross” – means that which should fill your thoughts. When you have thoughts throughout the day that are not pleasing to God, you “mortify” them, lifting them up to the inner “cross.”

Maybe you feel the thought of condemnation arising inside you, in relation to your brother, or dissatisfaction with what you have to do today. As soon as such thoughts arise in you, you must make a decision to reject them. Your mind should guard your heart, and you yourself decide what to let into it. When sinful thoughts first arise in your head, it is only a temptation, which is an “offer” from satan. However, you can choose not to let these thoughts enter your heart! In practice, this means that once you notice these thoughts, you disagree with them. You don’t stop there. These thoughts meet with a firm “no” in you. You do not allow them to pass through your thoughts and enter your heart. And thus, when you reject all these sinful thoughts, you take up your cross.

Suffering in the flesh – free from sin!

When you go against your natural attraction and reject the thoughts that visit you, it brings you suffering. Just as the physical cross brings suffering to our body, so this metaphorical cross brings suffering to our flesh, to that part of you that is attracted to sin and which rejects its demands.

However, you have a good reason for doing what 1 Peter 4: 1 says:

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, you too will arm yourself with the same thought; for he who suffers in the flesh ceases to sin. ”

Let this be your motivation! This verse promises us that if we suffer in the flesh, which means that we take our cross upon ourselves and reject the sinful thoughts that visit you throughout the day, then we will be freed from sin! And this is not just a promise that will come true sometime in an unknown future, but we see progress along the way. Perhaps you were harsh and cold about your friends. As you say no to the temptation to these negative thoughts, you notice that over time, they don’t come as often. It becomes easier for you to be kind and friendly to the people around you. And thus, this promise is fulfilled – you are freed from the power of sin in this area!

What did Jesus do?

This is true discipleship. This is the life you live, day after day, following Jesus our predecessor. What did Jesus do in His daily life? He was firm in his decision: “Not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42. He took up His cross and denied Himself. Through temptation, Jesus never sinned – in thought, word, or deed. It is written that Jesus “… with a strong cry and with tears brought prayers and supplications to the One who is able to save Him from death.” Heb. 5: 7. This means taking up your cross on yourself every day! You must cry out to God and ask for strength to endure to the end, say no and keep saying no during temptation. You must humble yourself and arm yourself with the same thoughts that Jesus had: “Not my will, but Thine be done.”

When you take your cross upon yourself, it will lead to transformation. You will not remain what you are today. As you are cleansed of the sin in your flesh, the fruits of the Spirit begin to manifest in you. Instead of judging, criticizing others, or being irritated, you can radiate warmth and kindness (Gal. 5: 22-23). Isn’t that encouraging?

“I am not saying this because I have already achieved, or have perfected myself; but I strive, whether I will not attain, as Christ Jesus reached me. ” Phil. 3:12.

Source: Что значит взять крест свой на себя? (aktivnoyekhristianstvo.ru)