“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
These are such powerful words from Jesus.....what do they mean? Well what I have learned over the last five years of my life as a Christian as I have lived out these words, I can tell you first hand how these words have affected my life.
Five years ago when I became a follower of Jesus Christ, my eyes were opened to God's Word and I understood more clearly, I had and still have such a desire and passion to learn, study and become more and more like Christ, although I fail often.
The more I would learn, the more I was so excited to share the Gospel with other family members and friends, but it didnt seem like others, even those who claimed to be Christians themselves were not as enthusiastic. Some even told me I should tone it down and not talk about Jesus so much. How could I not talk about Jesus? He consumes my thoughts and my desire to know him more, I cant help but talk about Jesus.
Out of love for family and friends I would attempt to share the Gospel with them but it seemed to actually turn them against me, I noticed family members and friends would avoid me. It seemed like everytime I would get into a conversation with someone I could not help but bring up Jesus or talk about something new I learned from the Bible or from a preacher I had listened too.
It seemed like my list of friends and family members that actually bothered with me got smaller and smaller. Some were offended because I would call out tv preachers who were twisting scripture or would post comments about false religions. And they thought it was unloving and unkind to say someone else's religion is wrong, or how can I say there is only one way to God. Even though Christianity is exclusive, Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)
The Word of God is Truth and Truth Hurts!!!!! And when you confront someone with the Gospel, the Word of God will divide. Its like shining a light in darkness and people dont want the light shining in their eyes. Light exposes the darkness!!
You see Jesus is saying here, when you speak the truth, when you have decided follow Jesus, to lose your life for Him, to deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Christ, people will think your crazy, they will think you are to radical, and it will divide. Jesus says whoever loves father, mother, daughter or son more than him is not worthy to be his disciple. Pretty strong words from Jesus and that is a hard saying for some people to handle.
That is why Jesus tells us before we decide to follow him to count the cost. (Luke 14:27-33)
The most loving thing someone can do is tell you the truth even when it might offend and when it comes to a persons soul and where they will spend eternity, nothing is more important, even if it means you may lose a friend or loved one by telling them the truth.
I will leave you with a quote from Antisthenes "There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself - an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly."
by Ricky Gantz