"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
A Christian medical doctor in China shares his experience when he refused to bow down or "kowtow" to an image of Mao because of his love for Jesus. After severe beatings did not succeed in influencing him, the authorities resorted to a more subtle strategy by getting his whole family to stand around him and weep. Here is the story in his own words:
I had seven children as well as my wife all surrounding me and weeping. Crying bitterly, my wife said to me, “If you don't kowtow you will surely die and then what will we do?” For three days they stood around me weeping until my wife’s eyes were dreadfully swollen. “After you have died, what will happen to these children? Please, for the sake of your family, just kowtow.” They cried and cried. I really did not know what to do. I felt that I had no more strength so I prayed, “Lord I have no strength left, what must I do?”
On the third day, the Lord’s word [Luke 14:26] came, Hallelujah! There is no word of the Lord that is without power. The Lord through His Word filled me with the life and power of God. I said to my wife, “Stop crying. It’s no use your crying. I am the Lord’s disciple. For the Lord’s sake I am ready to die!”
Then the day came when the authorities called me and said, “You had better consider your situation carefully. If you want to live, you must kowtow otherwise it will mean certain death for you. Tonight we will make you eat the “steel bean” (bullet). You will be executed! This is your very last opportunity!” And so he sent me back to think it over.
There was, however, no need for me to think it over. I was ready for the bullet. But the night passed without my being called. Next day I saw that outside folk were running hither and thither and I wondered whatever had happened to cause such alarm. Later I was to learn that immediately after I had left the office, black swellings appeared on the prison warden’s legs and it was frightfully painful. Because he was the chief, all the doctors in the hospital were rushed to his side to give him aid. But within twenty-four hours he was dead.
The doctor was later released from prison and returned to his family and medical practice.
RESPONSE: I recommit myself to the Lord. My love for Him will be even more than my love for family.
PRAYER: Lord, help to prove my love for You above all others regardless of the circumstances.