Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24
Where ever we are in life or what ever vocation we are called to, we are to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Jesus.
Many of us follow but do not deny ourselves, but we do carry our crosses. Or vice a versa, we refuse to carry our cross, but we deny ourselves. These are half-hearted measures for sure.
We see so much of these today, when we abort a life, or we take up vices that are not healthy spiritually or bodily. Or we are followers, yet we use drugs as our means of escaping our cross.
But Jesus wants all of us to follow, by denying what we desire, taking our cross the whole way. That includes what others dislike about following Jesus. Yet, following Jesus all the way gives us the greatest peace.
Unfortunately we have developed a world that caters to our desires, and seeks to destroy what Jesus teaches us. Our world wants Jesus and God, but at their terms and not on God's. That's why we see God disappearing from public teaching in schools, to taking an oath on a Bible in a Court of Law. The removal is from those that don't want to be reminded of God's commandments, so they will not have to feel guilty.
This is from those who refuse to deny themselves and refuse to carry their cross. And we who follow let it happen, that God is disappearing from all our lives.