27th January 2012

Not PC

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate…even his own life…he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26 (NIV UK)

Self-fulfilment, self-confidence, self-love: these are some of the buzz phrases today when it comes to how we are supposed to approach our lives. But self-hate? The very idea sounds harsh and out-of-date. It is not politically correct to recommend that we deny ourselves.

Yet Jesus explained that, if we want to follow him, we should hate even our own life. Being his disciple meant putting him and his way of life before father, mother, brother, sister, sons and daughters. “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple”, he said (14:33).

Jesus himself gave up everything he had for us. It could be viewed as a godly risk, but it was an act of faithfulness. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor”, wrote Paul (2 Corinthians 8:9). Instead of promoting himself he “made himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7). “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). In asking us to deny ourselves, he was not asking of us something that he had not done for us.

When Jesus tells us, in his non-PC way, to hate even our own life, it is an invitation to join him in who he is and how he lived. It is our participation in his self-sacrifice.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you gave up everything for us, and help us to do the same for you and to follow you.

Study by James Henderson

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