Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5: 25 – 26
Some Scripture passages really make us stop and think, don’t they? This one certainly does because none of us want to be seen as conceited, envious, or as someone who provokes others. We all have this image in our minds of who we are, and we even think we know how others see us. But do we really?
Have you ever considered whether someone might perceive you as being arrogant, excessively proud of yourself, and vain? What a horrible thought – to think someone might think that we think so highly of ourselves! Surely, we would be seen as much more humble, for we certainly know people who have this characteristic and it’s not one we admire.
Have you ever thought of yourself as an envious or jealous person? Do you covet what others have and sometimes find yourselves envious of their lives? Can you imagine yourself becoming bitter or resentful toward someone else because their lifestyle is much different from your own? Or do you think that you would knowingly provoke others to anger or resentment because of your jealousy and unhappiness?
These are tough questions to consider, aren’t they? When we truly examine ourselves, we may have to admit that sometimes we don’t like what we see. We may even find that we have become so focused on ourselves, on what we want, and on who we want to appear to be, that we don’t even realize who we have become.
What painful thoughts, for we know God has commanded us first and foremost to love Him, and then secondly, to love our neighbor. Our goal as Christians is to become more Christ-like and to do so, we must love Him with our entire being, and ask Him to fill our hearts with His Spirit to help us become the individuals He would have us be. We should desire to be seen in His eyes as humble and always loving and kind to others.
In this verse, Paul is writing to the new believers in Galatia and reminding them to “keep in step with the “Spirit” by living respectful and reverent lives free of prideful conceit and envy. We, too, need this reminder for we are all capable of having grand thoughts about ourselves – even thinking that we might be better than those around us, or that we deserve more than they do.
This is our human nature, and even as Christians, we can sometimes be more interested in seeking recognition for ourselves rather than for God. But only He deserves that place of honor. May we walk with His Spirit and let Him fill our hearts with humility, compassion, and love for others.
Dear God, forgive us for the times that we have, or may become prideful, and take our eyes off of you and what you desire us to be. May we trust in your Spirit to guide us to live our lives in a way that will bring honor and glory to you. Amen