why i wear this necklace

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Anyone who sees me regularly would know that I wear very little to no jewelry on a daily basis. Aside from a watch and two elastic hairbands around my wrists, my ears aren't pierced (neither is any part of my face) and I own countless bracelets and rings I hardly ever wear anymore. 

But one thing you'll most definitely see, though, is a small, silver cross necklace. One I've kept around my neck since I turned 17.


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The peculiar thing about a cross necklace is that even though they are quite commonly seen among your typical ~basic~ Christian girls, they can be seen on those who don't identify as Christians as well. Surely, to most of us, the cross is a religious attribute. To some others, though, in reality, it remains a fashion statement.

Another thing about "wearing the cross" is that it's considered rather controversial according to a few digital forums. (Alright, to be fair, maybe everything is controversial these days.) But many groups of people are actually pretty keen on expressing their doubts about the act of wearing a cross. The questions range from "Why do Christians like to wear a death symbol around their necks?" to "Did Jesus really die on a cross? Some say it was an upright pole!" The Internet is a dark place.

My point is that it doesn't matter what religion you're from–be it a necklace, a headscarf, or even head-to-toe attire, publicly wearing something that acts as a symbol of your personal faith, in a world that doesn't necessarily understand it, is always going to raise some eyebrows. 

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what it isn't

Growing up in a Christian environment, you can see someone wearing the necklace nearly everywhere. It's subtle and completely harmless. But in a world outside of that little bubble, I also understand how wearing a cross can make you seem a little pretentious.

On that note, I thought I'd start with what the cross necklace doesn't represent when a person chooses to wear it. One of the key things being: It doesn't declare that they're a "good person".

Wearing a religious attribute on a daily basis is just that; a symbol of religious belief. In no way does it symbolize the character or empathy the person actually has. Even though I chose to keep this necklace, I know that wearing it would not mean that I was somehow nicer or "purer" than most people anyway.

It also doesn't categorize the person as somewhat "hyper-religious", if that's a thing. It doesn't mean they've become celibate or that they fast every month in prayer, or that they'll pull their Bibles out to start shouting and preaching the ~Word of God~ on the subway. Clearly, like everyone, we try our best to live by Scripture, but again, we're no more of a Christian than anyone else is.

The other important thing to recognize is that it's not a lucky charm. It sounds simple, but this statement is actually a pretty crucial reminder for others as well as ourselves. It's tempting to think that it somehow adds another layer of God's protection or heavenly blessing upon you, but that is not the case. 

It's a necklace, honey, not a magic lamp. You don't rub it for good luck. You don't hold it for a prayer answer delivered on express mode. As an inanimate object, mistaking it as something that gives us "more access" to the grace of God basically turns it into idolatry. You can wear one or not, it's really a matter of choice and preference, but frankly, it's not that big of a deal. It's symbolism, but it's not the symbol that we should glorify. We are His, with or without it, and the Spirit lives inside our hearts, not on a chain around our necks. As symbolic as it may be, at the end of the day, it's just a necklace. 


what it is

So the question remains: why choose to wear it? Why voluntarily wear something that faintly exposes your spiritual belief before people would even get to your name? 

At least according to the Word, it was never even mandatory. Nor did anyone I know ever force me to wear it. (On second thought, there also wasn't anyone who forced me to follow Christ, but hey, now look where we are.)

The simplest way I would describe it is as a reminder of Whom I'm representing. When you make the decision to declare yourself a Christian, you sort of become a walking billboard. This makes it important for us to understand our role of carrying out His love, message, and purpose for the world, setting for ourselves a standard of Godly character. 

I know none of us can live as the perfect embodiment of Jesus Christ. I'm not always kind, and I'm not saying I could act on my best behavior 100% of the time either, but I've come to learn that it's a matter of becoming aware. That our lives are not our own, and that in some ways, our actions, big or small, can convey the faith we proclaim better than any sermon we present on stage, or any gospel song that we sing out loud.

The other reason I keep it is because the necklace places my faith at the center of my identity. What I mean by this is that after the past few years, I've realized that it's not enough to place your Christian faith as merely a part of who you are. Slowly, I'm trying to live a life where my identity is found through who He says I am, and not the other way around.

With that being said, last but not least, the cross is a remembrance of what I'm worth. A lot of people struggle with low self-esteem, and admittedly, I am one of those people. Through days where I sink in shame, through triggers that make me see myself as worthless, the necklace would appear in my mirror and remind me of its meaning repeatedly. That even if, to ourselves, we are worth close to nothing, at one point in time, on a cross, to a King we are worth the world.

So the idea, or rather, the goal, is that if I speak, they'll know what Kingdom I'm speaking on behalf of. If I give, they'll know the real source from which that blessing came. And in whatever act of kindness I can somehow bring forth, that people could see this tiny piece of silver around my neck, and soon realize, there was an act of love that preceded this.

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Thus ends the part where I rant about this thing. What it all comes down to, dear friends, is that the things we wear or carry are not what makes us Christians. But like in any other matter, character will continue to surpass what is seen.

I hope you have a good week.










18 comments

  1. This is beautiful. I also wear a cross necklace pretty much every day, not with the mindset that it will bring me closer to God, but with the idea that those who see me know Who I live for and maybe feel compelled to find Him.

    Such an uplifting post. Thank you! <3

    ~Ivie|Ivie Writes

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    1. Thanks for reading and for leaving such a nice comment, Ivie! x

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  2. This is such a nice post, girly. Good on you for speaking so freely about your faith and beliefs as well as clearing up common misconceptions. You are amazing! <3

    Madison | Breakfast at Madison’s

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    1. Madison, thank you for reading! Have a good one x

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  3. This post was so incredible! To be honest, I'm always a bit hesitant about wearing my cross necklace in fear that non-Christians will judge me in some way. I totally agree that wearing a cross symbol does NOT make you a "good person"; in fact, it's making the statement that you have accepted you are imperfect and need Jesus. Wearing your cross is such a beautiful reminder of who you are living for, and I admire so much of what you've outlined in this post :)

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

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    1. You are totally right, thank you so much for appreciating and reading! I'm so glad if it spoke to you. Have a nice weekend, Mia <3

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  4. I loved reading this and how you have beautifully put your thoughts about the subject into words.
    Beautiful.

    www.thelisasworld.com

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    1. Always love hearing from you, Lisa, thanks for reading! x

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  5. I love the meaning behind it! Keep rocking it.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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  6. God bless you, Joanne! Keep living boldly for Christ!

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  7. This is such a beautiful post! I love your outlook on wearing the necklace and what it does and doesn't represent.

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net/

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  8. Hey beautiful!! I LOVE this post!! I wear the hijab and I could relate to EVERY. SINGLE. POINT. you made. I was reading it all the way just relating to every single thing you said. You just got yourself a new follower hun. It doesn't matter what faith a person is why should they be identified with a certain 'view'. Good job on this post, respect.
    Lots of love,
    Ramshaa Rose
    xxx

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    1. Wow, this gave such joy to my heart once I read it, thank you so much for reading and for such a lovely comment! I'm so glad if it resonated with or spoke to you in any way. <3 have a nice weekend

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  9. I like this! Definitely true about a symbol not meaning they have a type of view of they're a type of person. I'm not particularly religious but I have a lotus ring that I wear a lot, especially when I'm having a harder day, because it just reminds me to stay in the present moment and keep being compassionate and understanding <3


    The Quirky Queer

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  10. Such a beautiful piece. The reasons you wear it for are even more beautiful :)


    www.desiringsme.com/duster-as-dress/

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  11. I'm impressed, I must say. Very rarely do I come across a blog thats both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you ve hit the nail on the head. Your blog is important.. teething necklace

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