S78P3 – Laid on the altar: our relationships

Matt. 10:37

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.

I thought I had built quite a nice life for myself in my early adulthood.  I had many friends on whom I thought I could count when the going got rough.  I remember spending my weekdays just waiting for my weeknights and my weekends to come so that we could hang out and have fun.  Then, Jesus entered the picture.  Once I got saved, I felt the uncontrollable urge to tell everyone about my salvation experience and invite them to share in that.  One by one, those friends I had counted so dear, those people who had become like my family, declined my offer. In doing so, each one also declined my continued friendship.  It was a blow I had not expected, but from the outset I had to choose between Jesus and those I loved.

There are some things we might find really easy to give up for God. There are other things which are a much greater sacrifice.  I think the greatest are those things to which we have an emotional attachment. Our personal relationships certainly fit that profile.  Whether we are talking about those who are our family by blood or those who have become our family by close relationships over time, we cannot put anyone above God.  This means that we may be faced with the tough decision of choosing between one and the other, and we know which one God wants us to choose.  When we are forced to choose between God and our loved ones, we lose nothing when we choose him.  That is what we must remember.

When I recall the people who have left my life because of my faith, I have to hold on to hope that they will be restored.  I am not necessarily concerned with them being restored to me, but I hope they will be restored to God.  For all of us that is the relationship which truly matters.  He has everything we could want or need.  He also has everything they could want or need.  If we must lose friends or family for a time so that our relationships with God can be nurtured, and perhaps their relationships with God can have a springboard to beginning, then so be it.  Let us follow our Lord and trust him to take care of the rest.  Father, give us the strength and commitment to choose You above all in every circumstance and the mercy to pray for those who have left us because we love You.