When Family Becomes God

June 23, 2016

Matthew 10:37-39

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

CONSIDER THIS

O.K., in case you were starting to think Jesus was acting like a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend), let’s take a closer look.

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Jesus actually is a jealous lover, and that is not for his sake but for ours. Let’s begin with the foundational assumption that Jesus is God, but let’s take it a step further. Try saying it like this: God is Jesus.  Why the distinction? Remember the first of the Ten Commandments?

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:2

To love anyone or anything more than one loves God is to effectively put that person or thing in the place of God. Translation: Loving father or mother or son or daughter more than Jesus contravenes the first commandment.

This is not about the prioritizing of relationships but the ordering of affections. We are so prone to think in hierarchical sets that we tend to read a text like today’s and arrive at the simplistic formula of, “God first, family second, church third, golf fourth, and so on.” It sounds good but it doesn’t work.

Our affections are not properly ordered by a hierarchical set but by a centered set. A hierarchical set actually divides our affections. A centered set orients our affections. Whoever or whatever is in the central place in our lives is our god. The problem comes when we substitute a small g god for the one and only true and living God. Because a small g god is not actually God, it becomes an idol. It’s why the second of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall not make for yourself an idol.” Put family in the place where only God can dwell and family becomes an idol. Place Jesus in the center and family can truly be loved and cherished.

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Translation: The only way to love your family more is to love Jesus more than your family.
Daily Text MATTHEW 06-23-16

THE QUESTIONS

1. >How do you relate to this idea of a set of competing priorities  vs. a central focus around which everything else revolves?

2. What are the small g gods who compete for the central place of affection or security in your life?

3. What would it mean, practically speaking, for Jesus to become the central defining focusing person in your life? What does a step in that direction look like for you?

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Just wanted to thank Seedbed for the Daily Text. It has become an invaluable resource for me each morning and is encouraging me so much right now.

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