My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):
All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads. Or, as my daddy used to say, every tub had to stand on its own bottom.
I was watching television when the Supreme Court of the United States was deliberating on the validity (or is that constitutionality?) of same-sex marriage. I was, and usually am, shocked by the vehemence people display when talking about the subject. I have stopped reading comments at the end of any article on the Internet because of the meanness and hatred displayed.
At that time, I was reminded of the mean-spiritedness of the crowds that hounded the African-American children who were integrating schools in Alabama. Black teenage girls and boys were enduring name calling, taunts of all kinds, and threats; having to have the National Guard escort them to school. This was the result of people not testing their own work, as Paul put it.
All too often, people fall into the temptation of saying, “You are evil,” God doesn’t love you,” or the ever-popular “You’re going to hell!” That doesn’t help anyone; not the speaker nor the person being spoken to. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is not law. ~Galatians 5:22-23
It seems that Paul is saying in this passage that we should not be so concerned about the “sins” of others, but rather make sure that our actions are up to snuff so that we can have pride when standing before God. For it is our behavior that we can control. It is our behavior that we have to account for to our family, our neighbors, our friends, and God.
Live out grace. Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no law against love.
Prayer for the day: God, help me remember my sins when I am about to judge the actions of others. Let me react with love instead of condemnation. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.