The Idol of Family
It can become very easy to idolize those who are closest to us. Our friends and our family. This can be very dangerous for our souls! It is hard not to put too much emphasis on our closest relationships in this life. How often regarding family members have you heard said, “I just could not live without you”? First, it is simply not a true statement. I lived for about 25 years without my wife. It is possible. I lived for over 30 years without my daughter. I can live with or without them. These relationships are great to have, but they are not what our life is all about. Our spouses and our children should not be the “center of our universe”. Only God should be! Christ is the only one I cannot live without. We need to be careful not to make them “ultimate things” in our life.
Some say, I could never accept that doctrine. It would mean that my parents are wrong and that my dead grandma is in Hell!” Some are unwilling to accept the truth about how to be saved because doing so would “condemn their dead relatives” or because their parents would be wrong and they do not want to disagree with their parents about the Bible. Many are led to reject the truth or to sin by family members.
We need to be careful because putting too much emphasis on these temporary relationships can also lead us to reject the truth. I have heard of so many instances where people out of nowhere changed their beliefs about Biblical doctrines because of a loved one. People change their views about divorce and remarriage when they find out that one of their loved ones are in an adulterous relationship? Many parents have changed their minds about what the Bible teaches about homosexuality when their son or daughter confesses to be a homosexual. When these kind of things happen, we are exalting our family above our God and His teachings. Jesus says,
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple" Luke 14:26
This is a challenging passage for us, isn’t it? Our devotion to Christ must be greater than any other relationship. For God’s people, for disciples of Jesus Christ, Jesus is the only One we truly need. He is the only One we cannot live without. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Jesus is the one who gives our lives meaning and lasting, ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment. We are living for Him, and even our deaths will be rewarded with Him, the one who we are living for. My relationship with the Lord is THE relationship that my life here and my eternal life in Heaven will be ultimately focused on. My family and friends are NOT the ultimate reason why I want to go to Heaven, no matter which loved ones may be there. Why do we really want to go to Heaven? Isn’t going to Heaven ultimately about going to be with our God and Savior?
Whenever I share the gospel with people, I like to ask them this question to gauge whether or not they have truly given themselves over to Christ or if they have idols in their life, “If I were to line up ten of your closest friends and family members and ask them what the most important thing in your life is, what would they say?” Almost every time, without fail, on of the top answers I get is 'family.'
How would you answer this question? Would your family and friends say based on what THEY see in you that the most important thing in your life is Jesus? Or may they say your family?
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