There is a conception among Christians that has led many to suffer unnecessarily and come short of the fullness that is Christ. It is in connection with the concept of the Cross. Crosses may be found and carried along the way of Christ, but they are not the way to salvation. Faith in Jesus is the way to salvation. When we make a false image of God with the age-old cross, we suffer needlessly.
For example: Christians suffer when we compromise our Christian values. Sometimes we call this suffering “our cross.” We forget, the cross of Jesus was not a compromise.
Christians suffer when our hearts are not in our acts of charity and compassion. When we call this suffering “our cross,” we forget, the cross of Jesus was carried with a deep love and felt compassion.
Christians suffer when we live by the law and the law alone. We call this suffering “our cross.” The law is helpful, but it is not the way to salvation.
Jesus said, “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6). And St. Paul wrote, “But now we are discharged from the Law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code, but in the new life of the Spirit” (Romans 7:6). Jesus came, not to change the law, but to fulfill it. Sometimes Christians forget he came, not to judge the world, but to save it.
God sees not by outward appearances. God looks on the heart. Jesus calls us to live in spirit and in truth. His spirit speaks to the heart because it is the heart that can hear, feel, know, and live a deeper truth.
God created us, not to be slaves, but to be co-heirs to of his kingdom. God wants our faith and actions to work in harmony.
Christians do suffer, but we are not to be known by our suffering. We are to be known by our fruit—and “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23).
If the fruit is not present, perhaps what Christians are taking as a cross should really be interpreted as a cross sign from God to turn in another direction.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Matthew 11:28-30). This is the way of the cross.