ISSL Reflections May 29 2022 Galatians 5:16–26 Post 3

As we return to Paul’s words, notice his claim that if we are “guided by the Spirit” we should “… not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.”

Let’s hear Paul speaking to us once more and pay attention to his hope for Christian community.

Galatians 5:16-26 (New Revised Standard Version)

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.

If we focus too much on what Paul calls “works of the flesh” what might we miss in his words to us?

I fear I miss his call that I “live by the Spirit … [be] led by the Spirit … [exhibit] the fruit of the Spirit … love, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control … belong to Christ Jesus … let us be guided by the Spirit.”

What is the Spirit guiding you toward?

Maybe we should ask what is the Spirit birthing in our spirits?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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