I just had an interesting thought about the cross I wear around my neck every day. I was thinking about why I wear it and whether it might be considered a form of idolatry. It definitely is not and here is why. The cross I wear around my neck functions exactly like a wedding ring. In the same way that I don’t worship the wedding ring or cherish the physical object of the wedding ring but rather the person it reminds me of, neither do I cherish the cross because of how it looks or because of the cross itself. Rather, the cross reminds both me AND others Who it is that I belong to, Who I’m committed to, that I’m “already taken” – I’m “off the market”. It helps me remember that I must not be unfaithful to the One I’ve promised to be faithful to. And it gives others the right to “call out” any of my behavior that is unbecoming of one who is married to Christ. In the same way that if a neighbor of mine saw me entering a house of prostitution, they would certainly be justified in calling out my behavior as an unfaithful husband. Because they know I’m promised to my wife and I’m being unfaithful. So too, if the people where I work hear me spewing out profanity or gossiping behind the back of a co-worker or stealing from the company, it would be clear to them that one who wears the cross is not being faithful to the One who died on the cross. It is so clear to me.
There is a song by Randy Travis called “On the Other Hand”, which talks about a man that is considering entering an adulterous relationship, but it is the ring that is on his hand that reminds him of his spouse and prevents him from doing it. Here is a key line from the song:
“But on the other hand, There’s a golden band… To remind me of someone who would not understand”
Its the same thing with the cross. We as Christians are promised to Christ for a life-time and for eternity. When we sin, we are being unfaithful to Him.