When Simple Christianity isn’t easy
Devotional THought for this day:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35† I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; 36 your worst enemies will be the members of your own family.
37 “Those who love their father or mother more than me are not fit to be my disciples; those who love their son or daughter more than me are not fit to be my disciples. Mt 10:35-37 Good News Translation
302 Your task as a Christian citizen is to help see Christ’s love and freedom preside over all aspects of modern life: culture and the economy, work and rest, family life and social relations.
The passage from Matthew’s gospel above is one that always causes a struggle within me. It seems the conflict that Jesus says he came to create is so contrary to his concept of love, the love is spoken about in the second great commandment, the love which is spoken about in 1 John 4, love of neighbor that bears witness our love of God.
I’ve heard all kinds of explanations for this, all types of ways in which people try to reconcile the very conflict that is raised. But I’ve never seen one done adequately, all of them sound hollow and empty at the end of the day, and all the rationalizations seem to reveal themselves to be nothing more than diversions.
Not that I think the primary focus of Jesus ministry is to cause division. But if you are following Christ, a division will occur. Especially these days when our relationships often become our gods and goddesses, For let’s be honest, we too frequently compromise when a special relationship is threatened, and we have to choose between our relationship with God, and the relationship with another person, or even group.
Let’s admit we do that, let’s confess it, let’s appear as broken and torn before God, as we are ripped apart by our loyalties. The improper work relationship, where our Greed and envy are made manifest. Our improper family relationships, where we tolerate sin, not wanting to confront or cause trouble, our improper sexual relationships, where pleasure and intimacy, which we are designed to need, become so powerful they draw us out of proper relationships. Our desire for the success of our children and family, that teaches them to value success more than time with God, and resting in the peace He would surround us with in life.
Let’s confess these sins, with the confidence that God will heal us of them, forgive us, cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We can turn the struggle over to Him, for if we do not, we will surely fall and break. But if we go to Him, confess these sins, He has promised, He has shed His blood, to bring healing to our brokenness, to forgive our sin.
Lord, help us when we take our relationships with others and treasure them more than we treasure that is Your being in our life. When those relationships are complicated when we want to tolerate sin rather than embrace struggling with it, help us to look to You for forgiveness and strength. And when we need to love someone enough to come alongside them and deal with their sin, help us to do so in love. AMEN
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 1443-1445). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.