This is week six of the Blogged Bible Study. Each week I will be posting on Thursdays as mentioned previously and others will be posting other days of the week. You can read the other posts by going to Philter 48. You will enjoy them I’m sure.
Galatians 6:3-5 (NLT)
3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. 4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
and from the NCV
3 If anyone thinks he is important when he really is not, he is only fooling himself. 4 Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done. 5 Each person must be responsible for himself.
At this point in the letter called Galatians Paul turns to individual responsibility. Remember, he is talking to the church who he is admonishing throughout this letter for allowing themselves to be swayed by false teachers and false beliefs. He begins by telling them if they think they are important when they really aren’t then they are deceiving themselves. In other words, “You need to come down to earth, because you’re not all that.” Seems they weren’t just being deceived by others but they were deceiving themselves. The NLT says, “if you think you’re too important to help someone you are only fooling yourself.” Ouch! Evidently these Galatians weren’t being very helpful or charitable (?) in Paul’s eyes.
He then goes on to say they shouldn’t be comparing themselves to others and concentrate on what they need to do–(their job) because they are responsible for their own conduct. In other words not “so and so is not doing it” or even “so and so may be doing it better” but they need to look at their own individual walk so to speak.
This is so heavy and relevant still for us as Christians. I have to look at myself individually. What am I doing to help others. Am I saying well he isn’t or she isn’t or he has better means and talents than me? Am I doing the best I can do with the talents and gifts and means that God has given me to enlarge the Kingdom of God? Am I doing what I know deep down in my spirit that God has called me to do or am I worried about what everybody else is doing or even worse expecting everyone else to do it? It’s strange because when I read this today I thought about something the Lord brought to my mind just last night before I even read this passage this morning. It was– if “every” Christian would concentrate on their own individual walk and that would be brought together corporately can you imagine what the church could be doing in society right now? It could put any social program to shame. But why is it a known fact that in the church 20% of the church population is doing the work of the church and 80% are sitting in the pews unfortunately more times than not being critical of this poor 20% who are trying to carry the load of their particular church and getting burnt out and not being able to nourish their own individual relationships with God? Hello!!
We are all going to stand before God alone (no church body beside us) and account for the life we have lived as blood bought Christians. Were we busy living upright lives in our homes, our jobs, and our churches or did we look to others to do what we could have done? Did we take the lazy way out? Did we blame everyone else for the reason we didn’t do what we knew we should and were being called to do? To me these are some sobering statements that Paul is speaking here and I have to admit that I am falling short at this moment in my walk. No, it’s not intended to be a guilt trip because as you move on to verses 9 and 10 Paul says:
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.
At the church I used to attend Galatians 6:9-10 was part of the church mission statement. The Pastor knew if we could just get that down in our spirits maybe the things that we knew we should do that we found reason not to do would seem more important. We live in a time of instant gratification and even in the church we want to see “instant” results in our work for the church. I believe that’s the problem in this day and time. We give up before we see the results therefore we never see the blessing. If I could ask God for one thing it would be to help “the church” realize that sometimes the things we do may not be seen until perhaps even the next generation or the generation after but God “sees”. We can’t think the way the world thinks when it comes to the work of the Lord because “his ways are not our ways and his timing is not our timing”.
Lord, I ask that you would show me what I need to do individually to “clean up my act” so to speak because I know that I am not all that Lord. I know that I will stand before you one day and there will be no looking to the left or to the right for my answers. Help me Lord to not grow weary in doing good. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
I will have to slightly disagree.
I do not think Paul is talking about us as indicviduals. I believe he is addressing the local church in Galatia. As I read, everytime he says “you” I do not see it as saying “you” personally, it see “you” as part of His Body.
If we take the focus off of ourselves, and be humble when we approach to help one another, we will look at it as a group or a community (His Body the Church).
I say … what can “we” be doing better to help one another, not what can “I” be doing better. We as His folowers can be more humble and focus on what the Bride of Christ can do corporately to serve others and give God the ultimate glory.
I think it is this type of individualistic thinking that has divided the followers of Christ. Focus is to be in Him and Him only, not us personally.
Don’t you think though if we’re not being obedient to Jesus individually most times we aren’t obedient to the church?
The church that we are members of we fall under authority to right?
I do understand what you are saying about the “we” part. I agree with that. Maybe I didn’t do a good job of getting my point across because I think we’re on the same page. 🙂
I do not see it as an individual thing. I see it as a corporate thing. I try to look at it in an act of humility. I am part of the Body of Christ, and so are others. If we do not function together we are not being obedient to Christ. Christ does not want just one living stone left out in a field, He wants a wall built with all the living stones working together to create that wall. If one individual tries to do better themselves without thinking of how it would affect the whole community, I feel they are a stone left out of the wall.
Does a person praying more or reading more scripture help the community (Church-His Body)? I look at that as an act of legalism and a to do list. I will be a better Christ follower if I do this…..
I do not think so. I see a person being a better follower as he or she acts in community with others.
I do not believe in membership of a church or a church having authority over me. Christ is the head of His Church, and as a Body we fall under His authority and His authority only.
Hope this clarifies.