Do you find it easer to criticise other people or to criticise yourself?
Paul is going to start talking a lot about circumcision. A painful experience for men and boys, this was totally normal at the time – all Jewish boys were circumcised. It was a mark on the outside of what the inside was supposed to be. Abraham was the first – and from his days, it was a sign of a person who had a relationship with God. Once it was done, it couldn’t be undone again. It marked people out as special.
But Paul says that circumcision is about more than just an outward mark – he says it is also an inward reality. It’s not the people should have bits of their insides chopped off, but rather that the Holy Spirit works inside of those who follow Jesus to help them to be the people God would have them be.
It means that things are a bit more complex. That life stops being about following the rules, but about following what’s behind the rules. It means that faith and being a Christian isn’t about what we look like, but about who we are on the inside.
Paul criticises the Roman church for being quick to judge when they themselves are just as bad as those they are judging. They aren’t living a life that matches on the inside as on the outside.
Lord God, help me to live in a way that matches the inside with the outside. Help me to please you. Circumcise my heart with your Holy Spirit. Amen.
FGM is a way of destroying life and pleasure for many girls who for whatever reason have been circumcised. Why not find out more about it and find out what you can do to help stop the practice.