Vince Antonucci, who is planting a church in Vegas called Verve, had a great post this morning from a verse most of us tend to fly right by (especially those of the male gender and those who are a little bit squeamish). You should read the post.
It's the verse that talks about when Paul circumcised Timothy. Ouch!
Vince hit on the thought that in order to serve God, Timothy had to do something that was, uhh.... "less than comfortable". Then he moves on to how often "Christians today ask certain questions and make a lot of objections before they're willing to serve" We gripe and complain and want conditions to be met before we'll serve God. (You really should read the post - he has some great examples.)
Not only was Timothy willing to put himself on the chopping block, he showed an extreme amount of trust in Paul. "Paul, can't we just tell everyone it's done? Do we really have to do this?" Timothy submitted to a leader he trusted (Paul later called him a son). There was more to this than "I'm the boss and I said so." I wonder if Timothy would have trusted Paul so intimately had Paul not shown an interest in investing in Timothy. Paul believed in Timothy's capacity to serve God. It was his idea to take Timothy with him on his journey.
The church needs leaders today who will call people into painful/irrational/unthinkable things. Our young people need mentors who show enough faith in them to call them to cut off what hides them - to tear away the shells that separate them from deep service to God - and walk with us on our journey.
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