Friday, April 22, 2011

We Should Do Good to Everyone

Gal. 6:1-10 NLT 
   1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 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. 
   6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. 
   7  Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 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.

The standards are high for living the Christ-centered life, but so are the resources that enable us to live up to these standards. God does not expect us to generate our own ability to live like He calls us to live. Instead, He provides the inner force, the new nature pattered after God's own nature of unconditional love, justice, mercy, and grace. We often read in scripture about our responsibilities to correct and nurture other believers, especially those who might be caught up in error. Verse 1 clarifies our response to them. We are to "gently and humbly help." Gentleness in helping is not offensive though it may well be direct. Humbleness in helping one who is in error is a teaching response to that error. We are not condemning. We are not judging. We are teaching a wrong-doer a better way to go with authority of the Scripture and as we are lead to do so by the Holy Spirit.

Doing this is yet another way we assist each other in the carrying of burdens. No one is beneath us, and all who need help are opportunities for us to show Christ's love yet again. When we look at the jobs others do, our first focus must be on our work-- have we done it in a way that glorifies Christ? Have we exercised our options in all our tasks, responsibilities and activities in obedience to the Leadership of God's Holy Spirit within us? Are we seeking to be more of a blessing to others than expecting others to be a blessing to us?  If we live for the latter, then, according to verse 8 we will receive death and decay because that comes from a sinful nature. Death and decay are the result of the sinful nature. We need to have our nature changed into a holy nature. When we live to please God's Spirit, then we find blessing now and for eternity.

We can actually do what is good, and not just wish we could do good. We can achieve good when we ask God to achieve good through our actions and speech. If there is someone you will interact with today, doing GOOD to them is what God wants you to do. Let's be praying about how we can limit our responses toward others to doing good.

Your servant in Christ

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