One of my favorite author comments is from Michael Crichton who, in an epilogue to one of his books said, “everyone has an agenda…except me.” Earlier in Galatians, Paul had expressed contempt for the Judaizers who were attempting to have new Christians first be circumcised (like Jews) before joining Christian fellowship. Paul sharply rebuked them at pointed out both their dangerous idolatry as well as the hypocrisy that drove them to insist this.
Those people had an agenda. To be fair, so did Paul, but Paul’s agenda was to comply with the words of Christ, not reimpose human traditions. Let’s be fair: circumcision had been commanded by God (to Abraham), and all Jews in history (including Jesus) have complied. Yet Christ freed humanity from having to legally comply with these religious laws, replacing circumcision of the body with circumcision of the heart.
It’s almost like Jesus had an agenda. And He did. Christ’s agenda was to reconcile mankind to Himself, redeeming us from feeling we HAD TO follow the law and replacing it with the merciful blessing that we GET TO follow Him. He had an agenda from the time He was born, and He continues it long after resurrecting.
That’s ok. Don’t we all have agendas? Even with our friends and family, when we’re talking, don’t we have agendas, things we want from conversation, relationship. Anything? Sure we do, and that’s not always a bad thing. You and I can have an open, public agenda of being Christ-like in how we deal with other humans, of living our lives in ways that make Jesus look better. We can have an agenda to love our families and friends, to do our best at any task, to be better citizens and neighbors. To be kind to all people wherever it is possible. An agenda isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Unless it’s hidden. Unless it’s something nefarious, or comes from somewhere other than the heart of God. If what we want isn’t of God, then it won’t be a good thing. If our agenda becomes something to hide, something to achieve via secrecy or subterfuge, or if it pulls us away from adhering to the blood of Christ, then it’s an agenda up to no good. We’d be no better than the Judaizers Paul denounced.
Instead, let’s strive to present our bona fide status as followers of Jesus, redeemed children of the King, daughters and sons made by God for His good works. There’s nothing bad and nothing to hide about that because, as they say, everyone has an agenda…including me.
For further reading: Matthew 23:25, Acts 15:1, Galatians 6:13
Lord, let me follow only You and do only Your bidding
If you’d like to know more about Practical Proverbials, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information