Focal Passage: Galatians 6:1-10, 14-15
Humans are moved by compassion. The sense of joy we feel when we see it is innate. We love to fill our social media timelines with stories of people being extraordinarily kind to other people. Part of the reason why we love to see compassion on display is because we don’t see it often enough. We are also bombarded by senseless tragedies and natural disaster. Compassion sometimes seems like an exception to the rule.
But as believers, we are called to live this way all the time. As Paul concludes his letter to his beloved Galatians, he admonishes them to be a people of compassion. Paul taught that compassion and bearing each other’s burdens are demonstrated in several ways. He notes that the church should seek to restore other believers who have fallen into sin. The Galatian believers are also challenged to make good of the resources that God has given them by providing for the needs of others in the faith.
The importance of a lifestyle of compassion is emphasized when Paul discusses sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:8)
Whether we choose to sow to the flesh or to the Spirit, we will reap consequences from our choices. To be compassionate toward others is to sow to the Spirit. For this reason, Paul says, we do not give up. We know that the grace and compassion we show to others will reap eternal benefits.
Paul ends his letter in the same way he began – putting on display the person and work of Jesus. The apostle reminds us again that there is nothing we can add to what Christ has already done. Our salvation is by faith. What matters now, Paul says, is that we are new. And because we are new, we are free to live generously and compassionately. We forsake the notion that our good deeds somehow earn us merit with God. But as those who have been justified by faith, we seek to honor God by loving one another.