In J.B. Phillips' version of the three-servants parable in Matthew 25, the one who hid the money away comes before the master, explains himself, and concludes with: "Here is your money, intact." And it strikes me that that is the posture and highest hope for far too many Christians: "I just need to 'keep the faith' and stay intact."
Yet consider the way that the Apostle Paul must've hobbled into the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), having recently been beaten and stoned: broken, battered, teeth missing, scarred all over. Imagine if he, on that day, had then run into one of us modern, self-protective, "intact" Christians; he would've been perfectly justified in laughing, even scoffing.
Oh, that you and I might be willing to risk everything for the sake of our Savior and His Good News and simply abandon all thought of self-protection! Doesn't "intactness" seem a pitiful measurement in face of a One whose ministry on our behalf cost Him His blood, His everything, His life?
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