Peace, Love, Hate

Prior I had discussed the relationship we should have with each other that is selfless and reflection of God. Upon reading the Gospel of Luke Chapter 14. Jesus is preaching the word, healing, and giving parables about humility and being a good servant of God. However, there is one part that is truly interesting. Jesus is being followed by a large crowd and He begins teaching them the cost of being a true disciple:

26 “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. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.”

What an interesting message to be giving people after preaching love, caring, and mutual respect for another. Once again it would seem at odds with the new commandment and the glory of God. How can we be instructed to love each, to take care of one another, when later we are told to hate all others in order to be a true disciple of God?

But what is being a true disciple? Is it a person who believes in the Savior, goes to church, lives within their means, and follows a basic moral code? Or is it the priest and nun we rely on for spiritual guidance and advice with life problems? If it is the latter, than why do they appear to be friendly among the congregation and comrades?

I do not think Jesus literally meant you need to hate all others, just that if you truly wish to be His disciple you would need to abandon your livelihood, friends, and family to preach the word of God. I think this is where the nature of being a priest comes in for they have set aside certain aspects of their life to preach the word. I think it is more along the lines of devotion, that you cannot be a full servant unless you are willing to forsake everything and bring peace to the world. For instance, Jesus continues, 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.” He understands the nature of being a disciple of God and expresses that it is not for everyone.

You can still believe, love your family, and spread the word, that is what I think a Christian is, a follower of Christ. In order to be a true disciple, one must forgo Earthly possessions and not truly hate your family but position yourself to devoted entirely to the work of God. Jesus says we must hate all other in comparison to God, what I really think the message is that your love for God cannot be equal to that of your families.

I bring this to attention because some people have been using it as an explanation for their stances on abortion, family, and gay rights. I do not think the Lords intention is what they think it is. If they read carefully and take the time to look at the words, not just merely reciting, they will see the meaning. Understanding and knowing biblical verses, a man of God this does not make.

Pleasing Others

At church, an interesting observation dawned upon me. During the sermon, a verse stayed with me. It was Galatians 1:10, I have been reading the New Living Translation and find it fascinating,  “obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

While listening to the sermon, my mind drifted. I began thinking about another passage I came across while reading over the Bible. Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” It is interesting that we mustn’t take too much interests in ourselves, “but take an interest in others” while “not trying to win the approval of people.”

What an interesting mission this is. We must be willing to pursue the interests of others so that we can build better relationships and administer each other. However, we cannot become self centered, seeking the praise of those we help and our community. It is not the intent to please others with the end result of pleasing ourselves or fulfilling some self-serving motive. We are to please God in our good deeds and works seeking no further approval than the grace and love of God.

A friend of mine had a different take on the two verses. That attempting to be humble cannot have a place when trying to help others, that the passages provide a double standard for people to live by. How can we seek the satisfaction of God, remaining a true servant of Christ, while not pleasing people at the same time taking interest in them?

Taking another look at this version, I can see the intent of what my friend was thinking. I even understand the level of reasoning behind it. But I do not think that is what the passages meant. You see, I think we are meant to look upon each other as brothers and sisters. Our lives are too short and we each share in this fate. We should pursue good works with the time we have in our company to make the world a better place to live. One of mutual trust and understanding. The only line drawn in the sand is that we don’t do this for selfish reasons, not to please others. But to remain humble, seeking only affection for one another and the grace of God. 

Apologizes

I apologize to those who read and are following my blog. For the last several days, me tennis elbow has prevented me from doing much let alone type. However, during these times of immobilized tranquility I have pondered and puzzled till my puzzler was sore. Expect some content soon.

Thanks and Apologizes again.