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Friday, March 5, 2010

Hard Answers

“Warriors of light hold inside them both the light and the dark,
weaving them together, embracing all as is.”
~ Maura Casey

Hard Answers

[Jesus said to them,] "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. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple."
~ Luke 14:26-27 (NKJV)

Even those who have wives should be as though they had none ... I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife... this I say ... not that I may put a leash on you, but ... that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
~ 1 Corinthians 7:29-35 (NKJV)

Jesus’ words from Luke 14 are often interpreted as Jesus meaning that our love for God should be so great that our love for others is like hatred in comparison.

I happen to think Jesus really did mean that love for God would bring us to hate the people closest to us, and even ourselves.

I love my husband and pray to outlive him, to spare him going through losing me. I love my children and am driven to see them through to adulthood. I have close ties to my beloved siblings and hope to live long on the earth with them to finish what we’ve all started.

Things in the world are mighty difficult these days, and they’re going to get significantly worse as the Great Tribulation and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble approach. My desire to live is strong, so that I might deliver to the world desperately needed words of hope and faith. I’ve sometimes asked the Lord if I could be the last one to go before the Rapture for exactly that reason.

Weird prayers are birthed of irrational love. Deepest love is not rational, and makes me desire the opposite of that for which I’ve earnestly prayed.

The same love for God which compels my great love for people can make me hate them. My yearning to live like Jesus can make me hate the relationships which bring me to sin. Desire to please people in a healthy way is despised for its interference with ability to please the Lord.

My last post spoke of moments when longing for the Lord overwhelms me. In such moments I hate the people who keep me from Him by their existence. That is, I wish the people who are my reason for living ceased to be so that my purpose might be fulfilled and I could be done with this world.

I love myself enough to live this life to its fullest. I love God enough to hate the very best people of my life—even as my love for them does not diminish.

Lord, help me to love you perfectly, with all that I am, and to love others perfectly, with Your light.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Amen, thanks for sharing this sis. I love you.

  2. Last one standing with so much to say. That's why I love you so! Perfect post.

  3. Complicated post. I get your meaning, but to think of God supporting anything but love b/c He is love is difficult. I do know what you're getting at and here is why:

    Once in college I was looking at myself in the mirror and an overwhelming sense of hatred filled me. I told my mom about it and she grew concerned. I probably should have explained more--how it was the sin--my sin I was hating, but I'm not sure she would have understood then.

    I think she would understand now.

    Thank you, Anne for always provoking thoughts in me.
    May God Bless you this weekend.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Your post reminds me of the Apostle Paul ~ that it would be better to be with Christ but to remain in the flesh is more needful for others.

  5. One thing I talk a lot about is love not being a pie that needs to be rationed. - When our relationship with God is on track, when it is ordered, as Saint Augustine would say, it magnifies our ability to love others.

    "In such moments I hate the people who keep me from Him by their existence." - People can never hinder our ability to love God or get closer to God, because as Jesus points out, when we love others we are loving God.

    Relationships that precipitate sin are ultimately narcissistic and self-serving in nature. They do not block us from getting closer to God, they are in fact evidence that we are moving away, running from, our Creator in some area of our life.

    I reflect on all of this in the context of my personal life Anne, not yours.

  6. well...this post is a bit complicated. the only angle i could look at it is by the 10 commandments. if our relationship with others become more important then the one we have with Him then it's as though it's become our god. i've made this mistake before...

  7. Denise ~ I love you, too, dear.

    T ~ Yeah, one of my favorite lines, from the Chris Tomlin song "Your Praise Goes On," is "I won't be silenced by the grave." I don't quiet easily, LOL.

    Wendy ~ This IS complicated. I hesitated to post this, because I don't think it's an easy concept to think of hating who we love. One of the lines in this post that got cut was about our God being a God of contrasts. People can't reconcile things like predestination and free will, love and hell, law and grace. They throw up their hands and walk away. I want to plumb the very depths of what can be known about the Lord. I'm learning that it's not easy to go there, but the discoveries are worth the agony.

    Patty ~ I was thinking of exactly those verses. I really do have to remind myself of how very short our time here is.

    Russell ~ I agree that people don't actually keep us from getting closer to God. I was referring to the end of this life in that phrase. If not for the people here whom I love, I'd be perfectly content to see this life end. Their existence keeps my heart here when it wants to be in the full presence of God. As for your words, "Relationships that precipitate sin are ultimately narcissistic and self-serving in nature"—thinking ...

    Bud ~ It is VERY complicated. I most definitely understand what you're saying about a relationship becoming a god, or (I suppose) the person in the relationship becoming a god. That is one of the things I had in mind when referring to "relationships bringing me to sin," although there are other ways that happens. Drawing the fine line between the healthy ways we try to please others and please God is another. UNhealthy ways we try to please others makes the list as well.

  8. can/could you give an example of UNhealthy ways?

  9. Bud, I'd define pleasing someone in an unhealthy way as doing what they want at the expense of the relationship or someone's well being. A parent who doesn't discipline a child pleases the child in an unhealthy way. Indulging a friend in harmful behavior such as drugs is unhealthy. Tolerating abusive behavior by not confronting it is both enabling and unhealthy.

    But even pleasing someone in a healthy way—building up the relationship by spending time together or going out of our way in self-sacrifice—might be acting as a channel of God's love, while also being distracted from the time we might spend with just God. The frustration—the hatred—comes in never having enough time for both.

  10. thank you! you've hit on a lot of things in this post. ...also you managed to hit an area that i've been dying to ask about. that being the rapture... is that going to be pre-trib or post-trib? Watchman Nee even dared to consider a fragmentary rapture meaning the possibilty of God relenting at the very last moments and individuals being taken up. at your mentioning of holding out, it made me wonder... i don't know what to believe about it.

  11. oh...forgot to add. Watchman Nee believed it was both a pre-trib and post-trib rapture with a possibility of the fragmentary rapture. my upbringing thoughts/teaching was that
    everyone was going to suffer thru the tribulation and only then could we go.

  12. Bud, I'd like to believe in a pre-trib rapture, though I'm open to the idea of it occurring mid- or late tribulation. I'm certain it cannot be post-trib, since the Bible explicitly says it will be pre-wrath. And while I'd not presume to contradict someone as esteemed as Watchman Nee without thoroughly looking at what he had to say, off the top of my head I'd say that since Paul's words describe the Rapture as an instantaneous thing (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), I'm not inclined to see it as instantaneous only for individuals, while the whole congregation sees it happen little by little.

    Whether we see tribulation (small 't') or The Great Tribulation is of little consequence in my mind. If we go into overtime, it might make the game a bit more anxious, but we who are in Christ know we'll be victors.

  13. The world pulls at me, too, Anne. I put no value on my life outside of Christ. For me, that leads not to me "hating" those who pull me away, but can insert a certain whiff of ennui--ever prone to pondering, I'm apt to sigh and watch the world go by, rather than engage engage engage with it.

    I'm working on it, but perhaps it's an uphill struggle. I wonder if I'm as engaged as I can be: the Lord, my husband, two children, eight hundred students, health concerns, and writing. Perhaps that's all the engagement I'm meant to tackle. Perhaps I'm meant to be one who watches, and records.

    I'm trying to figure it out.

    And that was one big ramble. So sorry--as always, your post brought many musings. :)


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