I had a new idea last night.
It relates to the following verse:
“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.”
I puzzled over this forever. Jesus is saying to hate your family? That makes no sense when he says to love even your enemies.
People say, well, he is saying you must love him so much that your love for others would seem like hate.
That didn’t do it for me.
Throughout Christmas and January, there have been a thousand ads for the ASPCA. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
I can’t help it, but every time I see these ads, I automatically think of children. Children who suffer violence, slavery, poverty, all forms of suffering. Do we value children as much as animals? Isn’t that a ridiculous question? But where does our heart lie?
I have a dog, I love animals. But compare the two. Who would you save? For me, there is no question, the child comes first. I love animals on a completely different scale.
Thinking of that made me realize we are talking about completely different planes. We love our family and friends, but a comparison to our love for Christ is laughable. So Christ made it black and white. Doesn’t mean we care about our loved ones less, it’s that we love Christ to such an extent that they can’t be compared.
So, yes, love animals. Yes, love humans. Doing so shows our love and honor of God.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Lk 14:26). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.