The Most Valuable Thing (Galatians 6:14)
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
Font size. What size are you using to read this text? What else is going on with your computer or device as you read this text? What tabs are open in your browser? What apps and notifications are going off on your phone?
More than that, what is going on in your mind, in your heart? What are the sights and sounds in your home, on your commute, in the office? What distractions are pressing in as you come to this moment to reflect on the words of Galatians 6?
I want to invite you to pause – just for a moment – and see in your mind’s eye the large Greek letters Paul wrote at the end of his letter to the church in Galatia. In these closing words he is writing a final personal greeting with his own hand. He is using large print. He is writing with force. He wants them to get this.
Throughout the letter he has shown these believers the need to resist the urge to add to the gospel. These first century Christians – like believers in the 21st century – have been crucified with Christ and the life they now live in the flesh is not their own life, but a life of faith in the Son of God who loved them and gave himself for them (Galatians 2:20).
And here, with his closing words, Paul urges them toward a single preoccupation. Like the Lord Jesus’ response to Martha’s complaint (Luke 10:38-42), Paul is showing them that – no matter what is distracting them, no matter the desires of their heart to add to the gospel, no matter their proud instinct to do things to justify themselves – only one thing is needed.
It’s a rare day in my life that I can say the desire to boast is far away. It’s woefully uncommon for me to say that the world and its desires are dead to me, that I see them nailed to a tree. But that’s the invitation Paul offers in this little verse.
Are you distracted Christian? Are you preoccupied? Do you feel the weight to perform? Then receive this invitation to know your status in Christ. You have nothing else to boast in but Christ and Him crucified. You have been crucified to the world and the world has been crucified to you. And that is more than enough. It is the most valuable thing in the universe. Today and everyday, now and into eternity.
With a singular purpose you can now keep running a good race (5:7), you can keep cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in your life (5:22), and you can do good without growing weary (6:9-10).
What is overwhelming or preoccupying you today?
When are you most tempted to boast in something other than the cross of Christ?
What active steps will you take today to crucify your preoccupations and place the gospel at the center of your life?