Q. I have failed miserably over the years as a Christian. As Jesus said Anyone who wants to follow Him must deny himself and pick up his cross. I know I do not measure up. Maybe here and there I’ve really tried to do the Lord’s will but then I fail again. I used to work as an Lpn in a hospital. I’m disabled now. I didn’t confront my co workers and ask them did they know Jesus as their Savior because I didn’t want to make waves. Is this being ashamed of the Lord? If it is, will He tell me to depart from Him? I more then anything want to be like Jesus now. But now I am house bound. I only see my husband and son. I have just made an effort to start a web site telling people that God’s gift of Salvation is Free because this Lordship Salvation disturbs me terribly.
I want other Christians to realize that our salvation is a free gift and can’t be earned by anything we do but I am still terribly afraid I haven’t denied myself enough. I haven’t picked up my cross when I should have. I am very upset and all I can do is beg the Lord’s forgiveness for being such a poor witness during my life as a Christian. Please let me know what you think about what I’ve written and thank you again for your help.
A. Like many others, you’ve been taught an incorrect interpretation of this verse. When Jesus talked about picking up our cross and following Him, He was telling us to symbolically put our “flesh” to death, just as He was putting His body to death. He meant we were to stop being so self-centered, always seeking after our own pleasures, and put our life to a more meaningful purpose, living in a manner more pleasing to Him.
We’re not called to confront others so much as to be an example of the benefits that come from living a Christian life. Some do this by showing great faith, others by their service, and still others by their love, or by always being at peace no matter what the circumstance. How we live is a much more powerful witness than what we say.
As a nurse, you’ve lived a life of service to others, bringing comfort and relief, and hope. And the fact that you wish you had done more is an indication of your love for the Lord and your desire to please Him. How could He be disappointed in you?
Now that you’re disabled and can’t do these things, Satan is trying to make you feel guilty, as if you haven’t done enough. Don’t let him steal your victory. Resist him and he’ll flee from you (James 4:7).