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. but far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and i to the world. [galatians 6:13-14]


crucifixion requires humility. 

think about our Lord. perfect Son of God, mocked, beaten, and blasphemed against (luke 22:63-65). he was naked as his accusers threw lots for his clothing before him (john 19:23-24). he was nailed to a cross, the most painful death.

from a purely humanistic perspective, it’s baffling that someone would willingly give up his life for people who could never pay him back. why would Jesus ever consider that?

because God called him to do that.

humility requires obedience to God’s calling, even when it is difficult.

the judaizers were not humble. they were actively seeking reasons to boast in themselves. they wanted numbers to join their movement. their desire was to boast in their converts’ flesh. it had to be exhausting to constantly be searching in broken places for reasons to boast.

are you looking to boast in broken places, devoid of Christ (i.e. your work, home, children, significant other, students, ministry)? take a moment to remember that fruit is only produced by God. surrender your boasting to the Lord in prayer.

read again how paul combats this thought pattern:

but far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and i to the world. [galatians 6:14]

paul has been humbled. he has recognized the freedom that Christ’s humility has given him. he is freed from seeking his boast through broken rules or broken people. he has been crucified from his worldly ways, wanting nothing to do with what the world tries to offer him. he engages with the world, but doesn’t find his hope in it- for his hope has been fixed on Christ.

if he boasts, it is in Christ. what better way to “do good unto others,” (gal. 6:10) than to boast in Christ, exposing others to the beauty of a humble God? – a God who spared nothing, not even his son, to save you from an exhausting,  broken world.

you and i are called to this crucifixion. our old worldly ways, like paul, have been crucified so that we can live in freedom with Christ (romans 6:6). crucifixion is permanent. therefore, let us ask God to kill our desire for this broken world and our sinful ways.

Father God, thank you for your presence. thank you for being humble, to the point of crucifixion. thank you, Jesus, for your obedience to God’s call. take our hearts of stone and melt them for your glory and our good. make us aware of any boasts devoid of Christ, and please kill them. humble us, showing us that you are ultimately so much more satisfying than the world. please bring to mind people with whom we can share this freedom. in your name, Jesus, amen.

~ jm