King James Version
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
New International Version
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Is this a mockery of devout followers of Christ ?
No. It is an illustration of two ideas. One is the absurdity of reading and understanding scripture in a literal manner, applicable to human activity in the world system. A literal cross is not what Jesus meant. Some Believers wear small crosses as tie tacks, lapel buttons, earrings, or pendants. Some have a cross tattoo.
None of these substitute for taking up one's cross to follow Jesus.
The cross we must bear as disciples takes many forms.
Bearing up in trust and faith under the onslaught of Satan's attacks.
Manifesting the Fruits of the Spirit in the face of insults and verbal abuse.
Loving one's enemies including those who do not recognize their own behaviors for what they are.
Performing the daily tasks of life without grumbling; actually, with heartfelt thanks and joy, for we know that "All things work together for good in the lives of those who love God."
The good that comes into our lives is a by-product of the spiritual blessings God showers upon us. We do not always correctly perceive the blessing; the silver lining; but it is there for us.
Your cross might be a chronic illness.
Your cross might be a spouse who berates you.
Your cross might be a child who is wayward.
Your cross can be your job; your boss; your poverty; or any burden life lays upon you.
When you turn fully to Jesus you find the yoke He places on you is easy. His yoke is for you to BELIEVE and trust in Him for eternal salvation. When you do, you will find that the crosses you bear are ultimately of no importance.
The photos below illustrate that Believers can bear their crosses anywhere, any time, but only they should know they carry it. It is not for display to the world, "See. I have this cross to bear." Your cross should not be borne proudly or sadly or to elicit approbation from others. Carry your cross in secret submission t God's loving direction.
DO carry your cross to work, at play, and at home. Don't let others see it.