Allegiance to Jesus Trumps Allegiance to Parents

Read this quote from Jim Elliot’s journals¹. Jim Elliot was a missionary and martyr. I read his story years ago and was captured by his devotion to Jesus. At age 22, he had a promising ministry in front of him in the United States. He probably could have been a very successful pastor or evangelist or teacher. His parents wrote to him to tell him that they were not thrilled about his call to go to the Quichuas in South America. Here was his response.

I do not wonder that you were saddened at the word of my going to South America. This is nothing else than what the Lord Jesus warned us of when He told the disciples that they must become so infatuated with the kingdom and following Him that all other allegiances must become as though they were not. And He never excluded the family tie. In fact, those loves that we regard as closest, He told us must become as hate in comparison with our desires to uphold His cause. Grieve not, then, if your sons seem to desert you, but rejoice, rather, seeing the will of God done gladly. Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were as an heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly – all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.

¹ Elisabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot, p. 132

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