By now, many of us are familiar with the story of the wife who decided to cut off her husband’s “intimate part” and toss it in the garbage disposal. Graphic? Yes, but there is a profound revelation here. She had one thought in her mind: “Cut it off.” This woman was upset. She and her husband were about to go through a divorce. Because they were going to separate, she took drastic measures to separate the one thing that she associated with their marriage from his being. His intimate part. The one thing they shared as part of an intimate covenant, she wanted to remove and do away with. And she succeeded in doing so.
Did you know that some Jews in Jesus’ day were so immersed in Greek culture that they decided to have reverse circumcision surgeries?
Some of them were so eager to blend in with Greek culture that they wanted to remove the evidence of circumcision (i.e. the thing identified them as Jews).
They wanted to cut off the very thing that could identify them as God’s people. In Greek culture, any time men would attend one of the Greek baths, they would have to disrobe, exposing themselves. In essence, when these Jews got naked, people could identify them as covenant people of God. In order to prevent any “awkward” encounters and to avoid being labeled religious nuts, many Jews opted for a surgical procedure to reverse their circumcisions. They walked into various doctor’s offices and uttered these words, “Cut it off.”
I wonder how many believers today walk out of the confines of church on Sunday, into the world, only to cut off the very thing that associates them with God.
Peace? Cut it off. Joy? Cut it off. Longsuffering? Cut if off. Temperance? Cut if off. Self-control? Cut it off. Anything that would associate me as a religious person? Cut it off. Because once I go back to living my life those other six days a week, I know I’m going to have to disrobe. Folks are going to have to see the real me, not the church-going me. I’m cool with being labeled a faithful, Bible-believing Christian on Sundays, but that just aint gonna work on the job. Cut it off!!!!!
My prayer today: Lord may we be a people who are unashamed of you. Unashamed on Monday through Saturday, not just Sunday. May we be a people who don’t attempt to adapt to culture, but influence culture. When we disrobe (begin to take off the layers we put on for Sunday morning), may people see the sign of the covenant we have with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I pray that our spiritual “garbage disposals” are used for the very purpose they were made for, getting rid of things that are unlike you (and not disposing of our covenant promise). In Jesus’ name. Amen.