Monday, September 3, 2007

Galatians, Chapter 6

Today I am going to Wrigley Field to see the Chicago Cubs play. This will wrap up a summer of baseball that had me visiting six different major league ballparks in six states, including the big three of Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Yankee Stadium. It is appropriate then that we wrap up our study of the book of Galatians with chapter six, as Paul caps the entire book perfectly like a visit to Wrigley caps any summer for a Cubs fan like me.

The first half of the chapter is an advisement that we do good to all, as it reflects that Christ is in our hearts. It also carries a warning that if we get involved in helping someone out of sin we need to be careful about not going down that road of sin. It's all good and well to help someone if they have an alcohol problem, but if you are a recovering alcoholic it is a dangerous temptation to delve back into that world to try and bring someone out. That is not to say you shouldn't, but just that you should mindful of your surroundings as you are helping.

"2Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load." – Galatians 6:2-5

It is hard to carry another's burdens when ours seem overwhelming, but it is something we must do. Being a Christians is a team sport, not an individual competition. It is one of the core points of our mandate from Christ that we become involved in the lives of others, share the good news, and assist with the bad news when it strikes. This is something that is very difficult to practice because I often find myself struggling to manage my own slate of problems before finding time to deal with others, especially now. What I find though is that when I reach one of these moment is become closed off to even the good that comes from others, because I feel like I am the only one that can help myself. When we begin to close off to the good, severing that connection with others that makes life so enjoyable, then we are deceiving ourselves. As the verses above state: we must carry our own load, as well as help with the loads of others.

"7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature
will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." – Galatians 6:7-9

We certainly do reap what we sow. For the longest time all I did in my life was feel anger and return it in kind. I was paid back for that with a heavy price, and it is still something I struggle with today. But as the later verse states, we cannot weary of doing good. I consider the greatest accomplishment of my life, one of the few things that has given me true purpose in life, was that God used me to lead my wife to Christ. When I think of that I think of the honor and privilege that was to be used in such a way, and that is why I enjoy getting into His Word and talking about it here in case God so chooses to use me again in that way.

"14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which
the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation." – Galatians 6:14-15

Paul closes his letter by hitting his most important point once again: the way you get there isn't as important as winding up in the same place. Christ does not care how we come to him or what traditions we follow in order to get to Him. He only cares that we come to Him. What counts is that we become a new creation in Him and that our lives are changed drastically because He is in our hearts. I cannot think of any greater thing to do with my life than be changed by Him, and even though many times that change has been drastic and against my will, it has been for the best.


  1. What burdens do you see around you that you can help carry at this time?
  2. How have your past actions come back to haunt you or help you, depending on how they were sewn?
  3. Why did Christ make it so that the details weren't important, just the destination?

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