SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Acts 16:1-3
The purpose of this reflective piece is to shed light on the calling and commission process of our assignment as Christians without delving into the anatomical and medical aspects of adult circumcision. Often, we tend to focus more on the end result and overlook the significance of the process that validates it.
Timothy was already a believer before Paul encountered him (Verse 1). As a disciple, he had likely experienced the transformative power of being born again and shown subsequent growth in discipleship. Timothy also had a good reputation among the brethren in Lystra and Iconium (Verse 2).
THE BURDEN OF CIRCUMCISION
When Paul asked Timothy to join him, it was a privilege but also meant undergoing the pain of circumcision, considering his age (Verse 3). Just as Timothy had to remove unwanted aspects of his character, beliefs, and training, we, too, need to go through processes of refinement in our Christian lives.
LESSONS FROM TIMOTHY
Timothy was not only a born-again Christian but also a disciple. Despite his good reputation among his people, Paul saw the need to work on him for the advancement of the Kingdom, particularly because the Jews knew his father was Greek. While we may be well-prepared, educated, and gifted, we must humbly submit ourselves and deny our own desires to fulfil God’s assignment.
In Timothy’s case, instead of facing rejection or unnecessary debate about his uncircumcised status, his circumcision brought acceptance and strengthened the churches, leading to growth. May we receive the grace to let go of our pride and conform to the demands and principles of our faith, casting aside our boastful crowns for the promise of an imperishable crown. Both the laity and the clergy, along with all who call Jesus Lord, must prioritise seeking the interests of Christ first, regardless of the cost, challenges, or persecution.
In his final imprisonment, while awaiting his departure, Paul commended Timothy, who genuinely cared for the welfare of others (Philippians 2:20-22). Timothy had proven himself, serving alongside Paul in preaching the Good News.
Let us continue labouring, spending ourselves in various forms of pain and sacrifice, as we strive to fulfil our calling. Peace be with you!
Written by Simon Afful (National Head, Cape Verde)