Intending to help.

When I woke up Wednesday morning, I discovered that I had published two posts at the same time. As a result, people who get these essays by email got two, in reverse order. Because they were the rest of a story, I’m not too worried about my “failure”, my inability to get the details right.

With that situation in the back of my mind, I found myself reading Galatians. Backwards. I mean that I started with a section near the end of the letter. I read the section before that. I read the section before that. You get it.

rich and kelley learning the brakesBut I kept coming back to the last couple of sentences before Paul’s final comments: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Last week we talked about seed and soil. Paul seems to pick up on the idea of planting, expressing it here as “doing good for others.” Working on behalf of other people, Paul says, is a good thing. It won’t disappear into uselessness, because those good acts are like seed that can take root and grow.

And, Paul says, look for opportunities to do good for others. If you see a moment where your hands will offer help, help. If you hear a moment where your words will offer healing, heal. If you sense a moment where your specific contribution will turn an outcome toward wholeness, contribute.

And, Paul says, this isn’t an “outreach” activity. You aren’t caring for people to get an opportunity to talk about Jesus. If that were true, Paul wouldn’t tell people who are in the household of faith to start there.

I think this is a practical expression of love one another. I think it’s worth doing. As you have opportunity. Today.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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