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Hate Your Family?

What if you really do hate your family?

Luke 14:26 says, “if anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple (NKJV).

Does Jesus really mean "hate?" That can't be right! If not, what does it mean?

Recently, our group was having a discussion about offenses and anger.

Too often, we move too easily into what I call a “dog” judgment (Matt. 7:1-6), where others have become a dog or a swine to us. We are angry, and the other person has become a despicable thing. Once the other person has become low life to us, we will send a message to that person that he is of no value. That will happen whether we try to use good communication skills or not. People have a spiritual perception. When we are walking in anger, they pick it up.

To get past anger, I believe God has to be in a higher place—a much higher place than people. When we choose to take offense at another person, it shuts down our ability to commune with God. Staying offended for a long time will undoubtedly diminish our ability to connect with God. In other words, choosing to stay offended is choosing the offense over the presence of God. Ouch!

The longer we stay offended, the less it should be about the offender, and the more we should be looking ourselves in the eye and saying, “Seriously? You are choosing to focus on the offense when it is shutting down your walk with God? Are you so indifferent to God that you would sacrifice your relationship with Him in order to maintain your offense?

If God truly is much higher than people, how can we stay offended?

If God is higher than people, it’s over. You repent for shutting God out. The offense takes on a whole new perspective.

That is what happens when we place a greater value on God and His will for us than on how a particular person treats us. I believe that is also what the verses in Luke 14 mean. God must be much greater than even our closest friends or family. So much so that it could be said that we “hate” our family when we compare our love for family to our unbelievable love for God.

Furthermore, if you follow the logic, loving God in this way actually helps us resolve the conflicts we have with others. It helps us walk with a clean heart, loving others. Chances are, you can now talk to the person who was the source of your anger. Chances are, the message you will send to that person will now be much different since the “high and mighty” have been purged from you. There's a good chance that the point of offense will be resolved and the relationship will be restored.

God does not want us to “hate” others, but using the word “hate” in the verse sends a strong message. God has to be much, much greater than anything else in our lives. When He is in that place, the highest place in our hearts and lives, we are capable of truly loving one another.

How strong is your love for God? Strong enough to help you walk through offenses?

But, what if you really do hate your family?

Heart Change U offers has a whole toolkit to encourage and support you in the walk toward Heart Change. Check it out:


HeartChangeU tools for Small Groups & Church Leaders

Heart Change U is an online training platform for Christian counselors, church elders, pastors, and those who seek to help influence others in healing and growing in His image. Developed through more than 15 years of helping addicts and alcoholics heal at a spiritual level from the wounds that cause their addictions, these proven tools and approaches are intended to equip you to walk with others through the Heart Change process in order to become the men and women of God He is calling them to be.


The Omega Project: Faith Based Residential Recovery Program

The Omega Project Christian addiction recovery program offers a community of discipleship homes where assistance is always available to help fight through the challenges of dysfunction so that men and women may find and be restored to their created purpose.

If you or someone you love is caught in the stronghold of addiction, there is hope in Christ! Reach out to The Omega Project.


Bring Heart Change to Your Church or Community




Ask us how to bring Heart Change to your congregation or community!


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