Galatians 6:1-10 (ESV)
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
This passage is one of the main reasons for church. We are not meant to live life by ourselves. We are part of a community, the Body of Christ. We are to strengthen one another, love one another, correct one another when there is need, teach one another, etc.
Notice that we are not to compare ourselves against each other, but rather to test our own work, to see if it is in keeping with the Spirit of Christ, and the Biblical Standards. There is warning about sowing seed to our flesh, rather than to the Spirit.
What does it mean to sow to the Spirit? I think it means that we are to look at the things that God would want us to do, and do it, not for any reward, but because of what Jesus did for us. Seeking to please God simply because it is right, is sowing to the Spirit. We are to do good to all, but especially those of “our family” those of the household of faith.
I am sometimes guilty of thinking too highly of myself. I am pretty handy. My dad could do about anything, and he taught me many things. But that does not mean that I am better than anyone else, only that God has blessed me. But to those who have much, much will be required. So my “job” is to care for others, and use the gifts, talents, and abilities that God has given me to help others who are not quite as handy.
I was blessed to serve in the Army for 16 years as a Chaplain Assistant—not assistant chaplain—but Chaplain Assistant. I can sum up the responsibilities that I had in a few short words: gopher, chauffer, janitor, secretary, sacristan, bodyguard, accountant, and landscape maintenance, etc. If it had to do with supporting, setting up, or scheduling religious services, that was my job. If sent to combat, it would be my job to be the bodyguard for the chaplain. At times it was challenging, but most of the time, I loved it. I worked with many different chaplains and chaplain assistants, from many different denominations. Most of which, I considered brothers / sisters in Christ. So I say that I was blessed to serve my fellow Christians. And I got paid for it...
I was also blessed to attend Bible Studies and fellowships, and learn from many different perspectives. Sometimes it helps to have different perspectives to see what God is really saying to us. But one thing is clear. Direct contradiction of the Scriptures is “DEAD wrong”. There are many things open for interpretation, but not all things are.
by Virgil Stripes
photo: print of Memorial Chapel, Ft. Leavenworth KS - the last chapel where I covered services while on Active Duty.