“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 (ESV)
Doesn't Jesus say that our love for our families should be weak in comparison to our love for Him? so weak that it seems as if we hate them and love Him all the more? Why don't we, as believers, preach on that more often? Is it because we're afraid others will take the verse without the context and announce that the Bible says to hate our family and friends? Yeah, there's always that possibility that someone could try and argue that the Bible contradicts itself... but is that really what it's doing?
The New Living Translation of the Bible has it spot on in my opinion- "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison--your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple." Did you catch it? You hate everyone else BY COMPARISON. If you leave those two words out, of course you'll think the Bible contradicts itself! But these two words complete the whole message.
So... what does this look like? How do I love Jesus so much that I hate my friends and family, and even myself, in comparison? This past summer I had the privilege of going to a Christian camp and while I was there, I learned a few things. The most important thing I learned that week was to thirst after Christ, and to fall in love with Him daily. This doesn't mean you know about God, and yeah sure, you love Him... this is you- continually, daily, moment by moment- falling in love with Jesus Christ. Working on a personal relationship with Him. This means taking time out of your day to get to know Him better. What did He look like to others? How did He react around annoying people, sad people, confused and needy people? How did He react in different situations- the difficult, life-threatening situations especially? How did He respond to the emotional times in His life? Read His word, talk to Him, listen to Him, praise Him for what He's done. Slowly, you'll start to realize the changes He's making in your life, and then you'll know... you're falling in love with your Creator. Your love for Him will grow, and before you know it, your love for others and yourself will be NOTHING compared to your love for Christ.
Please, leave a comment or two! I'd love to hear from you. :)