Count the Cost (Part I)
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."
Hate is a very strong word. However, here I think it's not to indicate disgust, but rather disparity. There should be an infinitely wide chasm between the esteem we hold for our family and ourselves, and the great devotion to our Savior. Jesus as our Lord should hold such a high place in our hearts, that thoughts for others will never take priority. Rather, the best husband, wife, mother, daughter, father, sons we can be and honor are through the lens of love and commitment to Christ. If you are looking with the eyes of the Holy Spirit, then you cannot and should not hate others or yourself in any way. And while their needs (and ours) will never outweigh kingdom work, they will be best satisfied by using our hands and feet to answer our heavenly calling.
Here's an example. When Jesus' mother and brothers went to try to stop his ministry, he turned them away saying that his followers were his family (Mark 3:20-35). However, when he was dying on the cross, he made sure that his mother would be taken into a home and cared for (John 19:26). Jesus always prioritized the work from his Heavenly Father - sometimes that meant ignoring his family's wishes, and sometimes it meant fulfilling them. Regardless, let's get our wisdom from the Holy Spirit and walk in love with the Prince of Peace.