Living the Word Today seeks to provide brief devotional thoughts for daily living from a passage of Scripture. It is not meant to be academic exegesis, but a humble attempt to listen to God’s voice through His written Word.
Scripture Passage: Galatians 6:1-18 based on the LCMS Daily Lectionary for July 18
Meditation: Flesh or Spirit? It’s dangerous to live in the flesh, but it is even more dangerous for those spiritual people to correct the one living in the flesh (6:1)! Paul describes what it means to live in the flesh or in the Spirit (5:16-26). He continues here with instructions concerning correcting the one who claims to be a believer and is still living in the flesh.
Why is it dangerous? Paul gives several potential dangers. You may be tempted like the one you’re correcting (6:1). In correcting someone else, isn’t it tempting to think that you’re in some way above temptation? You may deceive yourself into thinking that you’re something you’re not (6:3). In other words, you think, because I’m correcting someone else’s sin then I must be more spiritual! You may compare yourself with the fallen one (6:4). I’m better than him or her; Look at what they did!
It is dangerous to correct others’ sin because we can too easily fall into one or all of these traps! We have to be careful in approaching another’s sin. We are all sinners! Simultaneously, we are both saint and sinner. At any given moment, we can live in the Spirit or the flesh. We do those things that we do not want to do. These point to one thing: pride.
Pride is a dangerous deception. Pride goes before destruction (Prov 16:18). Do not let pride slither into your heart. Paul warns us! Restore the fallen gently (6:1). Watch yourself carefully (6:1). Carry each other’s burdens (6:2). Test you own motives and actions (6:4).
Restoration is dangerous! Yet, if we listen to Paul’s instructions, we can love and help the fallen toward restoration. We must be mindful of our own internal state and external behavior. What do we think and feel about the person who is fallen, and our role in their restoration? What do our actions say about us? How can we live out the law of love in the situation?
Meditate on God’s Word. Draw close to God each day. Listen to His Word for you.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.