Galatians 6 verses 1-3: When someone falls into sin, they do not need your judgment, your glances of disapproval, your wagging finger…Surely you can be more creative than that! They need your mercy, your love, your forgiveness. Likely, you’ll need those things by day’s end. Reach out to them. Share in their hard luck and bad times. This is how you are the righteousness of Christ! You are not too good for the dirty work, so stop pretending that you are!
Verses 4-5: Take stock of who you are, both in Christ and without. Search deep. Be honest! Compare yourself with Christ if you want honesty. Comparing yourself, your love, your mercy to others will only leave you wanting.
Verse 6: Are you living the common, participatory life? With those you’ve taught and with those who’ve taught you? Because that is what you;ve been called to, not separation but relationship.
Verses 7-8: Make no mistake. Separation breeds separation. Do you live removed from people? Without love? Without mercy? In judgment and criticism? The harvest will be weeds. But, if you love in participation, your harvest will be love.
Verses 9-10: Never, ever, stop doing good. Don’t let your guard down. Stick to it! You will be tempted to quit, to say, “Enough!”, to say that it is someone else’s turn…but that is not the way it works. A good harvest requires a good worker. A faithful worker. A consistent worker. So, start inward, with the believers, and work outward. Planting and harvesting are cyclical. You are never done.
Verses 11-13: I’m writing this in big handwriting, because I want you to understand the seriousness of what I’m telling you; I don’t want you to miss it. The only reason people preach works is so that they will look better than you. They lack the guts to actually live for Christ: they cannot, they REFUSE to show love, mercy, patience, kindness, grace;
all these people have is works and good-looking outward appearance. They tithe, show up to church every week, read their Bibles, pray, lead study groups…but they are full of it. They couldn’t keep the law if they tried, so they pick and choose. They simply want to gain followers. They want people to adhere to an archaic form of faith.
Verses 14-16: The only thing that I care about, the only thing that I will boast in is Christ, his sacrifice. Because of His work, I am dead to all of those rules. I’m not interested in pleasing others and fitting into their mold. It’s why I wear a white t-shirt on Sunday mornings. Your silly rules and expectations only make me desire more freedom. It’s not about the rules that we create and follow; it’s all about what He is doing and He, friends, is making…us…free. All those that are free are his.
Verse 17: The argument is old. This is pettiness and takes us away from what we are about: love, mercy, peace. The focus on rules only sets me down a path toward bitterness and I’ve been there. It caused me to be separated from God: rules about what kind of music to listen to, when not to wear jeans, how long my hair could be. The scars from those rules that were imposed on me run deep. Is this what we want?
Verse 18: Jesus gives you freedom. You. Me. Us. Them. Embrace it.