We find an outright challenge to our smallness in one single verse when Jesus calls us to forsake our narrow little circle and be transformed into the glorious kingdom of liberty and usefulness. “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). Over and again Jesus calls to us, “Your world is too small; ask for a greater, more meaningful life.”
What a paradox! Hate your life to find it; despise it to discover it. That just does not sound reasonable and, yet, the key to abundant life is right there in the words of Jesus. This is his challenge to our small world!
Jesus also said, “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” (Luke 14:26). Certainly Christ cannot mean hate in terms of the classic dictionary interpretation: to loathe or detest.
It is not life or people that we hate, for that is unscriptural. No, we must learn to hate the way we are living life, our preoccupation with the wrong things. Life is certainly more than houses, drapes, bills, kids’ schooling, parents’ welfare, family relationships.
Think of the most spiritual person you know, that spiritual giant who never panics, who always seems so kind and secure, so committed to God, so pure and holy. He will tell you of a time he encountered a crisis and came to hate his world with its pettiness, its jealousy, its bondage. He learned to hate what he had become so much that he determined to change. He got desperately hungry for the life of God.
You cannot grow until you hate your present immaturity. I encourage you to cry out to God, “Lord, translate me into your glorious kingdom of power and victory. Give me the life of usefulness and joy that so many others are enjoying!”
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13).