Letting Go

Matthew 10:32-42
If you love your father or mother more than you
love Me, you are not worthy of being Mine; or
if you love your son or daughter more than Me,
you are not worthy of being Mine (v.37).

Li Yue fell hard for Hou You Jing. They were from
the same province, shared a love for badminton
and western movies, and—as if by fate—met while
working second shift at a microchip processor company
in Shenzhen. Li Yue couldn’t stand to be apart from
Hou You Jing, and she didn’t notice that her constant
calls and weekend plans were beginning to smother
him. He slowly pulled away—finally telling her that he
was ending their relationship. Li Yue was devastated. In
desperation, she pleaded, “But I love you!”

But was it truly love? Jonathan Edwards explained that
we truly love another person only if we love them first in
God. Any love that doesn’t begin with God is actually a
form of selfishness. We love ourselves rather than others,
our family rather than another family, or our city or
country rather than another town or nation. Our circle of
love may widen to include everyone on planet Earth, yet
we’ll still prefer the people on our planet to the possible
inhabitants of others. Edwards explained that “true virtue
consists in love to Being [his term for God] in general”
and only afterward “to any one particular being.”

This is partially Jesus’ point when He commands us
to love Him more than our closest family and friends
(Matthew 10:37). He isn’t merely warning against
idolatry, but He’s also telling us how to fully enjoy
our close relationships. When we love others more
than God, we inevitably ask more from them than what they can deliver. Our
neediness will eventually suffocate them and our relationship.

Jesus said that whatever we cling to we will lose, but “if you give up your life
for Me, you will find it” (v.39). As the saying goes, “If you love someone, set
them free”—in God. —Mike Wittmer

Read Philippians 3:7-8
to see Paul’s comparison
between knowing Jesus
Christ and knowing
anything else.

How can you tell if you’re
putting another person,
hobby, or thing in the
place reserved for God
alone? How might you
properly enjoy those
things as God’s gift to

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Phil Wickham - True Love (The Wall) by Dan Stevers