The reproach of Christ and our cross-bearing do not mean the common troubles to which all flesh is heir. Some think they are bearing their cross every time they have a headache. Almost everybody has headaches and you can usually stop them with an aspirin tablet. Your cross means the trouble you wouldn’t have if you were not a Christian.
LAST GOD TO GO
Lovers of their own selves.
II Timothy 3:2
Self-love takes many forms. Not only pride and vanity and worldly ambition, but a sickly preoccupation with one’s own troubles, physical or otherwise. Such self-centered, ingrown souls make themselves the center of their universe. Self thrives on attention. It grows as it is petted and coddled, until it becomes a colossus dominating one’s lives and all others it can by making friends and loved ones the slaves of such self-worshipers.
The best treatment is neglect by becoming preoccupied with something or someone else. Such ailments disappear when ignored. The supreme preoccupation is not a mere person or cause but Christ Himself. That is why He asked us to deny self, take up the cross, and follow Him. That is why He bade us lose our lives to find them. When he fills our minds and hearts and lives other gods vanish. And no god is harder to topple from its shrine than self. It will gladly give up all lesser idols if only it be allowed to retain the throne.