I wear a cross around my neck every day. I have worn it for over 20 years. It is a cross with the flame on it that is the symbol used by the Methodist church. My parents bought it for me after I went on my Walk to Emmaus Chrysalis when I was in college.
I wear this cross for two reasons, one, that my parents bought it for me, and two, the most important, it is a symbol of my beliefs. It tells the world that I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and that He died on that cross so that I can be free. That cross says that I am justified by His grace, just as if I had never sinned. This cross, however, comes with great responsibility. People see this cross and they expect me to live and act a certain way.
Years ago, I worked with an atheist. He was a nice enough guy, but we were obviously on opposite sides. One day, I said something I shouldn’t have to him. He looked at my cross and looked at me and said, “I thought you were a Christian and didn’t talk like that.” My response was, “you’re correct, I am a Christian and I should not have said that; however, being a Christian does not mean I am perfect and without flaws. I still do and say things I shouldn’t.” I’d like to say that from that day forward I did better, but that would be a lie. I can say that it made me think.
The world is watching us Christians. It is ready to pounce on any flaw or misstep we make. And we’re going to make them. However, we can rest assured that even when we fall, God still loves us. What Jesus did for us on that cross doesn’t change if we falter. God doesn’t expect perfect; He does expect loyalty and expect us to strive to be better.
By wearing this cross, I am putting my belief on display. I am telling the world that I am a Christian; and the world is holding me to a higher standard because they see that cross. No, wearing the cross doesn’t make me a better Christian, or even a Christian for that matter. It doesn’t automatically make me believe in the Holy Trinity. But to me, it shows the world that I am a Christian and that I am striving to be the best that I can be. I will still say and do things that I shouldn’t; but that only proves that I am human.
“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”