“Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Ammunition has been hard to find the last few weeks, but the other day I found some online. I was so excited to order a few rounds…until I saw the price. It was double what I normally would pay! The excitement turned to a frown and I did not buy the ammo. Does that ever happen to you? You see or hear something that brings joy, but something comes right behind it to ruin the moment.
In this passage Paul gives us a heads up on how not to ruin the freedom we have in Christ. Paul reminds us that our walk is with the Spirit. It is the Spirit that abides and works in us. It is the Spirit that we have surrendered to work through us. Therefore, we should not be conceited, challenge someone else’s walk in the Spirit, nor be envious and compare ourselves. Basically, do not think you have a spiritual advantage over others. Do not challenge people as if you are the expert. Do not compare and become bitter at someone else’s success. Just walk in the Spirit.
The entire point of this book is that we have no advantage over other followers of Christ. It is the fruit of the Spirit that works, not our efforts. Do not ruin your fruit with selfish thinking. Do not use your walk in the Spirit for fleshly means. When we start comparing, bragging, and challenging others, we abandon our walk in the Spirit and go right back to the bondage of the law. We live without love, without fruit, without joy, and become destructive forces in the church. WALK IN THE SPIRIT!
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- Do you know someone who is no longer active in the church or their faith because they were hurt by those within who exhibited spoiled fruit? (comparing, bragging, challenging, being destructive)
- If so, what are some ways that you can be a healing presence?
- Have you experienced hurt from spoiled fruit that needs healing? How can walking in the Spirit help you heal?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?