Dead man walking

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.
2 Timothy 2:3-4

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up hiscross, and follow Me.
Mark 8:34

I was thinking of what it must be like to be a soldier. Risking your life. I was thinking about how they handle getting close to death, yet doing their jobs. I was thinking about the families that lose a loved one involved in military action. Does the soldier count the cost, know the risks and go ahead anyways?

How is being a Christian like being a soldier? If you are denying yourself and enduring hardship, following your master and pleasing your commanding officer; how does that affect how you live, how you react to life?