Deuteronomy 10:16 (NRSV)
Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer.
This verse is situated in an important Old Testament passage in which God describes the essence of his relationship with his people. “You belong to Me,” God says in effect. “I chose you. Physical circumcision distinguishes you from the world, but you must circumcise your hearts as well. You must ‘cut off’ useless and counterproductive practices of the world and instead act in ways that identify you as mine.”
Like the ancient Israelites, we modern-day followers of Yahweh must also commit to acting in ways that identify us with our heavenly Father. This means examining our hearts for what remains uncircumcised—those parts that are unlike God or opposed to God’s ways—and asking God to help us remove them. It is these unholy parts that cause conflict in our relationships and prevent us from being a blessing to the people God has placed in our lives.
Further down the passage, God describes two important attributes of Himself that should also characterize his spiritually circumcised people:
Yahweh is a just God, impartial and impossible to bribe (v. 17). In what ways are you unjust? Are you partial to a particular type of person and set against others (politically, racially, educationally, religiously)? How does the world, through advertising or peer pressure, bribe you to sacrifice God’s ways for unholy ways that cause trouble and bear no fruit for God’s kingdom?
Yahweh is a loving God, who cares for those in special need of mercy (v. 18). In what ways have you withheld love and mercy, kindness and forgiveness, from those who do not deserve grace yet desperately need it? How has God “chosen” you to give these good gifts to particular people in your life?
FATHER, I confess to withholding parts of my life from You so that I can be lord over myself. Expose my unholy ways and give me the strength I need to cut them out of my heart. Help me to shift my identity from earthly attachments to the assurance of being loved by You and chosen to bless the people You have put in my life.
Romans 2:28-29; Colossians 2:11-12
Name one unholy habit or attitude that you can begin to cut from your life.