Week 41 Enemies and Friends
Whoa… The following verse is hard to swallow. As a matter of fact I usually skim right over 26 to verse 27 (the ‘carry their cross’ part) as though that would be easier than hating my family. Maybe I don’t really get the full truth in what v27 means either.
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Last week I was learning to love my enemies; this week I am learning to ‘hate’ my family and friends?! The only similarity I see in these two thoughts is that they both come down to trusting my Father’s Love for and through me.
On the one hand, FEAR of harm causes me to protect myself instead of loving unconditionally. I take up my cross when I let go of my rights to resist, attack and protect myself, in favor of His right to love my enemies (including even myself) through me.
On the other hand, FEAR of loss causes me to cling too tightly to a loved one instead of clinging to Jesus. I would be wrong to call my addictive clinging Love, but rather finding my identity in others instead of Christ.
Now I happen to know that perfect Love casts out all fear, so…
Still, that word, ‘hate’… actually that word in Hebrew thought is more like ‘hold of no account.’ In looking at Matthew 10, I get some clarity…
37 Anyone who loves their father or mother MORE THAN ME is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter MORE THAN ME is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
This isn’t a salvation message; it is a discipleship message. That means if I want to be His disciple, a good representative of Him on earth, I need to think in this way.
I can choose to cling tightly to my family, and hate the people who hurt me, but I will experience more pain in this life if I don’t let it all go. Not to mention the harm it will do them in the long-run.
I choose free-falling trust in Jesus so that I can freely release my enemies from my judgments and my loved-ones from my expectations.