It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:1-6
I didn’t want a long-tailed dog, so the day after I got my Doberman puppy, I took her to the vet and learned that dog tails must be removed when they’re tiny strings when the puppies are one or two days old. To chop it off when they’re six weeks old would be inhumane. In the same way, baby boys are circumcised when their penises are little. No adult male would choose to be circumcised.
When we do things that make us feel burdened, Paul says that four awful things will happen. The first is that Christ will be of no value. God wants us to be free and to enjoy our freedom, so he sent Christ to take away our sins, anxieties, and fear so we can be happy.
The second thing that will happen is that you’ll be obligated to do everything asked of you. If you don’t learn to say no to church leaders, they will have you answering the church telephone, stuffing envelopes, and teaching Sunday school classes. Soon, you’ll live at church but won’t have time to pray or worship. Then the third thing will happen. You’ll be alienated from Christ.
The fourth terrible thing will be that you’ll fall away from grace. You’ll be too busy or anxious to enjoy God’s gifts of salvation, righteousness, peace, and the ability to create music, art, a dance, a character, or a book.
Serving with your God-given gifts without worrying about rules will make God and you happy. When you have a joyful spirit, you can express your faith with love.
Father, I praise you for the gifts and desires you’ve placed in my heart that enable me to serve you with joy. Help me express my faith through love.