What Does It Mean To Carry Your Cross?

Carry Your Cross Meaning

Definition: To deal with your burdens and problems.

In the Bible, Jesus carried a cross that has come to be symbolic of the world’s problems.  Therefore, when people carry their own crosses, they are dealing with their own burdens.

Sometimes, people use this phrase to refer to personal burdens, as in this situation,

  • Marsha’s frustration with her job and her impatience with other people is her cross to carry.

Others use this phrase to refer to more “big picture” topics. They might say that problems like world hunger are the crosses that people must carry by helping each other.

Origin of To Carry Your Cross

meaning of carry your weightThis phrase comes directly from the Bible. Three of the Gospels mention Jesus saying, “Take up your cross and follow Me.” He meant that people should follow in his ways in order to be good disciples.

The full extent of Jesus’s saying in Matthew 16 reads as follows,

  • Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Examples of To Carry Your Cross

define carrying your own weightMany people will say, “I carry the cross of a good Christian” in reference to their religious faith.

Others may be highly specific about things that bother them when using this phrase. They might say, “My illness is my cross to bear” or “I carry the cross of my relationship with my father.”

Here is an example dialogue between a father and his son about a recent injury.

Father: The important thing is that you are going to be okay.

Son: But now I won’t be able to play soccer ever again.

Father: Well, perhaps this is your cross to bear. Maybe you are meant to do something else.

Son: It’s hard to see that now, but you could be right.

More Examples

  • “It is enough for us that the Holy Father is coming quickly back to health, and we have the hope that our prayers and our presence here were the cause of this,” said Eva Filipiak, the town’s mayor. “We hope that we have helped him to carry his cross.” –NBC


To carry one’s cross is to handle one’s frustrations and burdens.