In my studies this morning I was studying "forsaking" in the index. I found a few verses that referred to "crossing" oneself and followed the cross-references (haha). I knew what the essence of crossing oneself meant. Especially since it referenced verses admonishing to take up one's cross. But I didn't really know the etymology. So I ended up on these verses and they really hit me.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
In verse 1 it gave me some clues as to what crossing oneself might mean. It is obviously a reference to Christ's cross if it is indeed related to phrase "take up your cross." But even then, what does that mean? What did Christ do on the cross and how do we do the same? Wasn't the purpose of Christ's suffering so that we will be spared through repentance? Tell me what you think, but I wonder if it is an admonition to do as Christ did by sacrificing his flesh for Heavenly Father. So is it a call for us to sacrifice our natural man for our Heavenly Father? Is that crossing ourselves? What do you think?
I liked how frankly we are told in verse 2 that we should not conform to the world, but transform ourselves and renew our mind. It is easy for me to conform to the world. But by renewing our minds we can receive a confirmation of her perfect God's will is. I suppose this means that by keeping our standards, we will understand better God's plan and see its wisdom.
But verse 3 may be my favorite. I was surprised at how straight forward it was. I struggle with pride a lot. I've done well at a lot of the things I've attempted and have a competitive nature, so my nature has become quite prideful at times. I sometimes struggle with a natural tendency to look down on others, to criticize, to make fun of others, and it really bothers me. But I need to recognize that all my accomplishments are only because the Lord has blessed me with talents and the means to accomplish what I've set my mind to, the mind he's given me. Sure I've worked hard, but I've worked hard only because He gave me the ability to work and be committed. Really, I have accomplished nothing of my own.
So, these verses motivate me to become a better person, to be more unspotted from the world, to be humble and stripped of pride. I've decided to start looking for the blessings in my life and writing down three good things that happen each day in an effort to be happier and more positive. I also am trying to set weekly goals for self improvement.
So, any tips? How do you conquer pride? How do you transform your mind? How do you cross yourself?