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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
July 3, 2004

     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.
     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.
     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.
     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.
     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.

Galatians 6:1-10 (Message*)

The Christian life is meant to be lived in community. It is to be a loving community, where each one shares with others, is forgiving, encourages rather than condemns, puts others before self, and fulfills one's own role in the community without comparing it to that of others.

Paul here gives some very helpful criteria for us to use in examining ourselves. We would be well advised to prayerfully consider these words from time to time, and look at the areas where we need to grow.

Am I planting in response to God, rather than feeding my own ego? Am I allowing God's Spirit to guide my growth? Am I working for the benefit of all, particularly those with whom I am in a community of faith?

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 10-Jul-2004 18:21:46 EDT