Romans 2:29. “Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart—
it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God.”
One of the things I am learning about myself is that when I literalize the scriptures, theology, or my own life experiences I am (more often than not) trying to take a short cut. I am avoiding my inner work. Ultimately, I am selling short myself and the life God has entrusted to me.
I become a literalist when I am outwardly focused, when my beliefs are captive to logic and rationalism, when my reality is determined only by what can be known through the five senses. The risk in my literalism is that I choose information over transformation; I settle for being right rather than being righteous.
Paul reminds us that life is lived from the inside out, not the outside in. That means we must be aware of what is going on inside ourselves, for we will surely project that onto the world. Our inner lives determine the direction of our outer lives, the quality of our relationships, the choices we make, the priorities we establish, and the actions we take.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.