There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about what is meant by the biblical phrase “taking up your cross.” Most of these people who misunderstand have a proper view of suffering, but a wrong view of the cross.
The cross Jesus told us we must bear is far worse than having a serious illness like cancer, being wrongly divorced, or having a wayward child. While those things are terrible, they are not what the Lord means by taking up your cross to follow Him (Luke 14).
Jesus meant “take up your electric chair” and die to your desires. In other words, you are publicly declaring your guilt before God and the whole world that you are guilty and you deserve to die. It is a PUBLIC statement of your shame and need for a Savior. Carrying your cross means you are living each day as though it is your last.
Rather than store up treasures for yourself in this world, it is living as though tomorrow is not promised. You live in light of eternity. You serve and give sacrificially to others. You do not live for your own kingdom and prosperity, but for the kingdom of God.
Think about how many of us it would take to change the world if we lived with an urgency and an utter self-denial to share the Gospel to the 6 billion unreached people in the world! Wow, could we do a lot!
Instead, we are often guilty of living for ourselves. We give a tithe, we go to church, we sing in the choir, we usher and take a collection, but we are merely inconvenienced rather than dying to ourselves.
When we really understand our radical Lord and Savior, we begin to realize how selfless He was when He lived on earth and how far we have to go to become like Him.
-Mark (not there yet but getting to the point of understanding what it means to take up my cross daily)