“For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.” (Gal. 6:13)
What? Paul, are you saying that those who were teaching “keep the law” weren’t keeping it? Does this mean that they were teaching that something had to be done by others but not by them? Yes, it seems that way. They were hypocrites. “You have to do this,” they said, but they didn’t see the need to do it themselves.
Surely, people don’t do that sort of thing today. Surely no one would teach “take care of the poor” in this world and live in a mansion with servants. No one would encourage people to go into all the world and preach the gospel but stay home because its more profitable or more comfortable. There is a warning about being teachers (includes preachers) because of being judged with a higher standard.
There is just a little of the splinter and large log story here. Don’t be telling folks they HAVE to do this or that if you aren’t willing to do it yourself. We need to clear up our personal eye before we start in on someone else’s eye.
Do we encourage sinners to come to Christ and put him on in baptism because of a real concern for them or because we believe we will get a star for doing so? The reason for all this circumcision talk it turns out is selfish. The teachers were wanting a reason to boast about what they had done. Probably why Paul said he was glad he was personally not involved in the act of baptism for so many, lest people think it was to boast.
Task for Today: Whatever you are doing to influence others in the Christian walk make sure your motives are honest. Give God the credit for all that’s good. Let us, like Paul boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ. Keep your ego out of your teaching opportunities.