The Way of the Cross Is the Way of Joy. What did Jesus mean when He told us to deny ourselves and take up a cross (Matthew 16:24)? The idea evokes images of Christians who sigh and moan, "This fill in the blank with the bothersome circumstance of the day] is just my cross to bear." Or perhaps we think that those who take these commands most literally will unhappily walk the streets dragging wooden beams. "Self Exposed" presents an entirely different picture. By viewing the dynamic nature of the spiritual self through in-depth exposition and analysis, author Clay Henry shows that embracing Jesus' directives bring freedom and joy When we deny ourselves and pick up a cross, we release control of our lives. As Henry points out, a person who was crucified no longer directs his or her future. Carrying a cross releases us to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, to grow in faith, and to live an increasingly, meaningful life on earth.