Friday, March 15
Dead and free
Scripture: Deuteronomy 28-29, Galatians 6
Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Paul is warning them about the “circumcision party” (Jewish Christians who believed Christians must be circumcised and keep the Jewish law). He tells the Galatians that these people are image driven—they “desire to make a good showing,” and they want to boast about their converts, who and how many they convinced to be circumcised. For them, it’s all about recognition, boasting in their accomplishments.
But Paul responds by saying he will boast only the cross of Jesus, in what God has done for him, not what he has done for God. He doesn’t care about his reputation in the world, what others may think of him, for in Jesus he died to the world and the world to him. He is done with image management.
I have always been concerned with image management, with being recognized and respected. I’ve often named my accomplishments so that others would view me with the respect and recognition I desire (and think I deserve). Paul might have eschewed his list, and simply pointed to Jesus. His worth wasn’t in what he did for God but in what God had done for him in Jesus. Because of that, he was dead to the world—the world held no power over him. He was free of concern about what others thought of him, free from pressure to conform and fit in, free to simply be himself and follow Jesus with no thought for the world’s approval or rejection.
I desire to be dead to the world in this incredibly freeing sense: I desire to be free from concern what others may think of me, free from image management, free to simply be me and follow Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, help me see myself as dead to the world, but alive to You—and so free from all concern what others think.