It seems that one reason the Judaisers were compelling the Galatians to be circumcised was to impress others, so that they (the Judaisers) wouldn’t be persecuted. In Australia today we rarely suffer physical persecution. Yet we are persecuted emotionally by being laughed at or criticised for similar petty reasons.
Just as the Galatians were admonished by Paul to not give in to circumcision, we should not give in to following the world just to avoid persecution. For example, giving into peer pressure and allowing our kids to watch the MA rated movie when they’re only 12, or downloading a movie, speeding or avoiding tax to stop others ridiculing us. This is avoiding standing up for what we believe in order to avoid persecution.
The other reason the Galatians were being compelled was so that the Judaisers could boast that they had made these men comply with the law. Paul points out that we should only boast in Christ – in what he has done, not what we have done.
What counts is not what others think of us. What counts is that we are a new creation. Let us stand tall in this fact and be righteous and honour God and be prepared to suffer if that is the result.
Written by Megan Cornell