God on Monday
‘Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple’
Work demands dedication, resilience, and determination. It tests our will and character. But it can absorb so much of our time and focus that we become exhausted - physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In this passage from Luke, Jesus is teaching the crowds that were following him. He tells stories and asks tough questions. His words are comforting but also challenging. He even seems to go against his own teaching when he says that if someone does not hate their parents or spouse, children, siblings, or even life itself, they cannot be his disciple. Is this the way of love?
Jesus is not, of course, inciting hatred. He is saying that his followers cannot put their love for other people above their love for him. Jesus would have understood that people’s work and relationships required their attention and energy. But he wanted to let them know that following him would involve even greater demands. They should count the cost of following him.
We can expect, then, that putting Jesus first will at times feel like we are carrying a cross. But we can also know that he carries that cross with us, and that he fills us with his resurrection power and new life.
It is easy to be seduced by our work and its rewards, and to prioritize other relationships over our relationship with God. Whatever may be holding you back in your commitment to Christ, take time to step back. Think about what matters most to you. Trust that, by choosing the way of Christ, you are not choosing an easy path but the right path.
Dear Lord, help me to put you first in every part of my life. Help me to trust that you know the demands I face and that you want to ease the burden. Keep me from allowing my work to conflict with my priorities and corrode my values. Amen.
Jot down what matters to you most. Do they include your core values? What changes might you want to make to align your values with your schedules?
Christina Rees, CBE, writer, broadcaster and former Chair of CABE (Christian Association of Business Executives). Curate, St Peter’s Church, Sheringham.
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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