This Is Costly
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, "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 14:25-26
These are divisive words. While everyone was looking for a trendy leader to follow, Jesus suggests that his way was not as fashionable as they may have initially imagined. The prerequisite—hate. Not psychological hatred or physical behaviors born of hatred but rather hate as in "love radically less." And what were they required to love less than at present? The two things that people in that culture loved more than anything else—family status and personal identity. Thus Jesus reveals that following him would demand it all—position, power, preferences, purposes, and even the wonderful plans we have for prominence and popularity. That's pretty much everything, except for following him. But here's the clincher. When we love God with all we have first, we love everyone else better, because then our love is rightly ordered, and then hate ceases to be the priority.
DO THIS: Love everything else less, a lot less.
PRAY THIS: God, today, I lay down my positions, politics, power, preferences, purposes, and every allegiance for you. It's easy to say and hard to do, so will you help me to make this choice today.