A man's enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
If do-gooders depend on family approval or assistance to do good, or if do-gooders focus their good works primarily on family and friends...
A. They will miss crucial opportunities. 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God' (Luke 9:62).
B. They are doing only what is easy. 'If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them' (Luke 6:32).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: One of life's hardest lessons to learn regards our beloved families. Even those with the best intentions can be fallible and make mistakes. Their vision is not as long as God's. Their support is not as strong as God's. Their wisdom is not as deep as God's. Their network is not as broad as God's.
When Jesus said we must hate our kin, we may feel this Command is cruel.* Most of us read through these Words quickly. We know we're not really getting Them, and we're not sure we want to get Them. Our families give our lives purpose, companionship and understanding.
Yet when our dearest love betrays us, when our children grow up and leave us, when death decides to separate us, when brethren prevent our destinies (whether in ignorance or malice), we see why we must love Jesus first.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Only God will never let you down. Only God can love you perfectly. Only God can direct you truly. Only God can love your kin better. Only God is never fallible.
As for family? Christ said it best: 'Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother' (Matthew 12:50).
You have blood kin, and you have Blood kin. God willing, they are one and the same. But if they're not? Pray for the former and help them however God allows. As for the latter, hold on to them. Even so, not as tightly as God.
To Be Continued...
* Luke 14:26 (NASB translation): '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.'
* Luke 14:26 (Good News translation): 'Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well.'
* Luke 14:26 (The Message): 'Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters--yes, even one's own self!--can't be my disciple.'
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.