How poorly I appreciate the unseen work of Christ. I recently organised a conference. There was a sense of God at work, one person even said it was the best conference they had ever been to. Yet looking back I experience frustration that only half the expected number turned up.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
Looking for visible impact I slip away from Christ. In Portugal He spent six years showing me numbers were irrelevant. How easy to revert to type after returning to a culture fixated with measurables. This road leads to a pressure to justify cost effectiveness where the desire to impress, or merely justify, leads to abuse of those entrusted to me. It won’t be through circumcision, but elevating what is secondary and what is elevated becomes idolatrous and abusive. In Paul’s day it was all about bringing people into Judaism; he writes,
Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. (Galatians 6:12)
Such abuse is to no avail, for what counts is the transformation that only Christ sees.
15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.
I live in a world where what is counted is supreme so, being human, I will struggle! However, I trust Jesus who promises –
16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule – to the Israel of God.
The background study can be found in ‘Circumcision for now’