On a mission…
After living quite a few years on this earth, being the people watcher that I am because it’s fascinating to me, I have observed that what brings out the worst in we humans is criticizing others for the very weaknesses we have in ourselves. When we point our index finger at someone else, our thumb physically points back at us. What we abhor in ourselves, we see very critically in others and can’t understand why they can’t get THEIR act together. Weird, eh? But it happens. Maybe, this comes from the shame of not being able, most times, to get it together ourselves. Mm.
Paul helps us with this sin of seeing in others what we don’t see in ourselves. Passage 6 in his letter to the church people in Galatia helps us see that we need to be a bit more creative in our forgiving and a lot more helpful in coming alongside others in God’s restoration process. Why? Because we are sure to need the same encouragement throughout our imperfect lives.
Galatians 6, The Message
Nothing but the Cross
6 1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
6 Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
7-8 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
What do we learn?
–Forgive quickly and completely. Come beside and be a help not a hindrance in the restoration process that will take time.
–Be creative in encouraging others.
–Be creative in the work God has given us to do…from the Creator Himself!
–Creatively evaluate our own lives. Make no comparisons. We are all created as “one of a kind” by God. We are his masterpiece!
–Creatively plan backwards…what do we want to see growing abundantly in our lives? Then let’s plant those seeds. Then let go and let God do the growing in us! Others will water the seeds of our restoration process, but ultimately God does the growing and maturing of our “crops”.
–SO, don’t quit now! God is still growing us! What a harvest that will be!
Dear Heavenly Father, In the middle of our growing and changing we get tired, discouraged and feel like quitting. But you lift us up with these words of encouragement, reminding us we are not alone. Thank you, Lord, for creating us, forgiving and restoring us…all because You loved us first. Continue to teach us…In Jesus Name, Amen