Scripture: Galatians 6:1-18
Observation: Paul’s final message to the Galatians is clear: love others, love God. He encourages them to continue living to please the Spirit and assures them that they'll be blessed by God when they don’t give up. He finishes by reminding them that they are fully and completely transformed through their faith in Christ Jesus.
Application: I think you can tell a lot about a person through their most frequently used emojis. Mine?
- Laughing crying face
- Monkey covering his face
- Praise hands
- Heart eyes
- Fist bump
What I believe this says about my life:
- I find a lot of things hilarious. (And the large smiley face doesn’t accurately predict my laughter…)
- I do a lot of embarrassing things. (And I also use the girl face palm emoji a bit excessively…)
- I get excited about a lot of things. (And it feels more spiritual than the clapping hands…)
- I love a lot of things. (And the regular heart just won’t cut it…)
- I get pumped about a lot of things. (And the thumbs up just seems so passive…)
In summary: I laugh, I love, and I celebrate – a lot. Sounds great, right?
If only it told the whole story…
So often, the “me” I appear to be is not really me. On the outside, I have it all together as a wife, mom, employee, friend, follower of Jesus – I’m laughing, loving, celebrating, affirming. But on the inside, I’m a mess. I’m harboring so much resentment and undefined bitterness towards others. I’m judging and tearing down and dividing. I’m prideful and arrogant and anything but loving.
I’m the emojis no one wants to use.
And worst of all? I’m really focused on myself. All of my resentment and judgement and pride that swirl around in my heart are an attempt to elevate myself while I diminish others. I begin to buy in to a worldly definition of success which tells us to appear loving and kind while actually making sure we’re protecting ourselves.
Paul knew that we’d naturally prefer ourselves over others – and he wasn’t having any of it. That’s why he spends his final words to the Galatians telling them this:
“If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” (v. 3)
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way, obey the law of Christ.” (v. 2)
“Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.” (v. 10)
My summary of Paul’s honest words? Get over yourselves. In the Kingdom of God, it’s not about you. It’s about loving God and loving others. It’s about serving, about rejoicing in the opportunity to do good. It’s about turning away from what the world says and turning towards what God says – not because we are good, but because God is good, and he has transformed us.
“…Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died… What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.” (v.14-15)
Let’s show the world a new way to love, a reckless kind of love, a crazy generous kind of love, a doesn’t-make-sense-isn’t-about-me kind of love, a “you first” kind of love. And when we do?
“May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.” (v. 16)
We are the new people of God – chosen, loved, redeemed, renewed. That calls for a heart eye, praise hands, fist bump emoji.
Prayer: God, I pray you’ll work in me in a powerful way. Help me get my eyes off of myself and my own desires and instead offer them all up to you. I pray I’ll love others recklessly and generously. Amen.