“For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
I’m always amazed at how people who once stood for truth are turned out of the way. It is amazing many were once spiritually strong, but now they have changed and they do what they once said they would never do or preached that they would never do. I have often told people that if you still have five people from your younger years still standing with you when you become an older person, you are a fortunate and blessed person.
When you serve the LORD, you are going to have opposition. However, who your opposition comes from is truly interesting. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who it is that influences people to change. Four groups of people have the influence to change you.
The first group is your children. You will notice in verse 35 that a son is set at “variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother.” Many parents have changed because they want to be accepted by their parents.
The second group is the parents. Many children have changed because their parents changed. It is imperative for parents to continue doing right because they still influence their children no matter how old they may be.
The third group is your spouse. You will notice that in-laws are mentioned in the verses above. It is difficult to continue standing for truth when your spouse chooses not to stand with you. When your own household is against you, you will find it hard to continue to stand.
The fourth group is close friends. The psalmist talks about his friends turning against him. Paul asked the church of Galatia in Galatians 3:1, “…who hath bewitched you…” Most people don’t change because of people they don’t know, but they change because those nearest them change. The answer to not allowing any of these groups to influence you to change is found in verses 38-39.
First, accept the cross that people close to you will become your foe. You will not make it through life without friends and family changing. You are going to have to accept that friends and family will become your foe. If your chief desire is to always be liked by friends and family, you will find yourself changing what you believe when they change. The greatest test of what you believe is do you still stand for and practice when your friends or family change what you once stood for and practiced.
Second, follow Christ. If your focus is on Christ, it won’t matter what others do. Others will change, but when your focus is on Christ, you will continue doing what you have always done because you are not watching those around you. You will only continue to stand where you have always stood if your sole focus is on Christ and not on being liked by friends and family.
Third, lose your life in Christ. The greatest answer to not changing is to lose yourself in the life of Christ. Stop looking to the other side of the fence. If you will get lost in what you are doing for Christ, the criticisms of those who cross the fence won’t faze you.