Jesus said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27
In this passage, Jesus demands absolute, undivided love, commitment, and devotion without rival. The love we are to have for Jesus should make all other loves in our lives seem like hatred. Only if we have this kind of love for Christ will we be able to love the lesser goods in our lives (like our families) as they should be loved. Only by trusting, loving, and adoring Jesus most of all can we even begin to love our neighbors as ourselves or to love our wives as Christ loves the church.
Beware of idolizing the good gifts from God in your life.
Dr. Timothy Keller writes:
“We think that idols are bad things, but that is almost never the case. The greater the good, the more likely we are to expect that it can satisfy our deepest needs and hopes. Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the very best things in life . . . What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.
A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living . . . It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving â€˜faceâ€™ and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry.”
(Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods, The Empty Promises Of Money, Sex, And Power, And The Only Hope That Matters (New York: Dutton, 2009), xvii-xviii.)
What, in your life, do you need to look straight in the eyes and say: “I hate you . . . compared to Jesus?” It could be your family, your blog, or even your Christian ministry.
May Christ be your all in all!