If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as his own life, he can’t be My disciple. Luke 14:26
A large crowd was following Jesus when He turned to them and spoke those words. Had Jesus lost his mind? Earlier He taught that we should love our enemies; in this passage, He seems to be teaching that it was ok, even good, to hate our families. What are we supposed to do? Why would a loving God want us to do that? How can we reconcile these two teachings?
Jesus used a comparison and contrast for emphasis. His desire is not that we literally hate our families, but rather that the depth of our love for Christ supersedes all else. If family takes priority over God, hate them. If our possessions are our first love, hate them.
The reasoning here is that nothing should be able to be placed in the balance and outweigh our love for the Creator, Sustainer, Forgiver and the Lover of our souls–God. The value of anything compared to Jesus should look as distinct as love and hate.
I don’t recommend you go around telling people you hate them because they just won’t understand. If you value them as God values them, then they will see love pouring through your life, and you will naturally be loving them and Him the way HE intends.
Let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.