June 11, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 11 June 2019
During the 1988 United States presidential election, seven local television stations collaborated to develop profiles of the various candidates, with an emphasis upon their character. One of the leading candidates ridiculed another man for his conduct toward women, and when questioned concerning his own womanizing he challenged a reporter to “put a tail on me, go ahead.” The discovery of the supposed challenge led to the publication of a photograph of a scantily clad woman sitting in the married candidate’s lap, from when the two had gone for a cruise on the unbelievably named “U.S.S. Monkey Business.” The former Senator was forced to withdraw his candidacy, even though he was the clear frontrunner for his party’s nomination.
A similar incident occurred with a popular televangelist who was accused of having a “sexual encounter” with his church secretary. When the scandal became public knowledge, one televangelist (in particular) was adamant in his condemnation. Only a year later, the same televangelist was implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute. Evidence of the televangelist’s indiscretions was retaliation from another minister exposed for having several affairs.
Both the leading presidential candidate and the televangelist were boastful and proud in their condemnation of another, yet implicated shortly thereafter in the same transgressions as those they decried. Galatians 6 warns against such attitudes. The Bible encourages “gentleness” in response to the sins of another, in addition to being cautious that the same transgression does not ensnare you. God’s people are exhorted not to be weary “in doing good” because we will “reap” eternal reward from God. Emphasizing personal character and relationships with others is a proper application of the doctrinal truths revealed earlier.
Galatians was given to amplify the grace of God in salvation, to clarify the freedom of God’s people, and to explain how to live in relation to God’s free and unmerited favor. The question to answer now is how freedom in Christ affects relationships with other people. Specifically, when a fellow Christian “is caught in any trespass,” what is the responsibility of the “spiritual” person in helping the fallen one to be restored “in a spirit of gentleness” (v. 1)?
The person who is “spiritual” is the one who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. Maturity arises from both development and growth, whereas spirituality occurs when a person has an authentic relationship with the Holy Spirit. Only as the Holy Spirit leads a believer can he or she restore anyone who has been “caught in any trespass.” When restoring a person, one should continue examining themselves so that they “too will not be tempted” (v. 1) or fall into deception (v. 3). “A spirit of gentleness” is essential to protect oneself. Scripture admonishes a person to be more intent upon evaluating oneself as opposed to others (vv. 4-5; cf. Matt 7:1-5; Luke 6:42). Avoid comparing your life and works in relation to others, and focus instead upon God’s standard (Gal 6:2), which is the fruit of the Spirit (5:22-23).
Your response to another person’s failures reveals the stability of your life, whether spiritual or not. Pride makes it impossible to help those who have fallen, yet demonstrating humility will be a blessing in someone’s else’s life, in addition to your own. Never use somebody’s faults to make yourself look better. Know yourself, and seek the favor of God (6:3-5).
Your Missionary to Our Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.