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Hate Your Family?

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he can not be my disciple.” I arrived in Seoul one week ago to visit my parents. It’s been so great to spend some quality time with them, to pray for them every day, and to share all that’s going on in my life. While an unfortunate circumstance of cancer catalyzed the trip, I must say I’m very thankful to God. What the enemy intends for evil, God always uses for good. On the flip side, I really miss my family at home. I miss hugging my wife. I miss horsing around with my boys. I think these five weeks will be the longest time I’ve been away from them. But again I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I feel that this time away will make us all draw closer when I make it back. So in the midst of this trip, I just feel a lot of love for my family. And in Luke 14 Jesus tells us that anyone who does not hate his/her family can not be a disciple. What does He mean? If God is love, why does scripture say he hated Esau in Malachi 1:3? If God gives us the fifth commandment to honor our parents, why does Jesus ask us to hate them? I’ve read that hate in a biblical context has more to do with preference than with an outright attitude. Just like money (which I shared about yesterday), God has no problem with us enjoying deep relationships with our parents and our children. But the distance between our loved ones and our enemies must pale in comparison to the distance between God and everyone else. But just like with money, the more I get that right, the more God seems to bless my relationships. Thank you Lord for my family whom I love so much. I honor them as you command me to. Yet I declare that you are everything, even compared to them. Please give me opportunities to live this out today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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