I know you probably didn’t understand the title of this message, but I was referring to something Jesus said, “Those who love their lives will destroy them, and those who hate their lives in this world will guard them for everlasting life” (John 12:25).
Now I realize I am not the only one, but I often talk about living a “Victorious Life;” an “Abundant Life;” about being the “Head and not the Tail.” These are absolute Truths for every believer. But let’s be honest, how many of us are actually living that way? How many of us know the “keys,” if you will, to living that Abundant Life, yet fail to live up to the realities of it?
Jesus’ challenge to our small world lies in that one question! If we can understand what He means here, it will open the door to a life-giving revelation for us. Jesus also said: “If people come to me and are not ready to abandon their fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as their own lives — they cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:26). What is with all this abandoning and hating our life and our children? Wow! I don’t know if I can do that!
Look, there is no way Jesus could have meant hate like a classic dictionary interpretation has it: to loathe or detest; to dislike or reject! The Scriptures say, “Everyone who hates another believer is a murderer . . .” (I John 3:15). “Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19). I’m sorry, but being harsh is as bad as hating.
My point is that it certainly is not life that we should hate, because life is a gift from God! And it certainly would not be people we are expected to hate; that is unscriptural.
We must learn to hate the way we are living life. We must hate what our preoccupation with families and loved ones have done to us. Is your life all wrapped up in just your children? your husband,/wife; or how about your parents? Are all your joys and problems limited to this small circle?
No, our God is simply calling us to widen our circle of living. Life must be more than simply draperies, bills, kids’ schooling, the welfare of our parents, family relationships. Martha was addicted to a life of trivia, but Mary wanted to grow! Mary wanted to expand her horizons — and Jesus approved of Mary’s approach to life.
There is no way you are going to grow until you are willing to hate your present condition and immaturity. No, you don’t have to ignore your duties and obligations to your family and friends, but you can become so bound by your duties that they stunt your growth.
One day you must wake up. Holy anger, holy hatred, must arise in your soul, and you cry out, “Oh, God! I hate what I have become. I hate my temper tantrums. I hate how irritable I am at times. I hate my moodiness. I hate how small I have become. I hate it! I hate it! I hate it!” Now modern psychologists will argue against that. They will say that you need positive self-talk. But Jesus was clear when he said that we must hate our present life so much that we cry out to God, “Lord, change me into your glorious kingdom of power and victory!” (See Colossians 1:13).
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.