Thursday, August 25, 2011

More fruit intended for ancient Galatia

Often we face circumstances that involve other people and no little acrimony. As in all things, the word of God should be our guide, the lamp for our feet that lights our path through the darkness of the world. Taking that seriously, I offer some more thoughts from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians about dealing with the Judaizers:

"Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted...For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself...So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all,but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith" (6:1.3.10).

I think this more than applicable to many of the struggles in which we engage. The takeaway is that truth must be established by love, not by force, or eloquence, or brilliance of argumentation. It is easy to be hurt and bruised and to be bitter as a result. Heaven knows nothing has set me back on my own heels than experiences I have had in ministry! But, by the grace of God, I have learned to count it all as joy and opportunity, at least once I work through the hurt, which always involves an element of getting over myself.

With St. Paul, I pray that I may "never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation" (Gal 6:14-15).

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