Sometimes as I search through Scripture, verses just leap off the pages and cut me deep to the innermost of my being. God speaks through words I have read countless times in a new, fresh, convicting, nurturing way. How could I have missed this before? How could this writer have known thousands of years ago how fitting this would be to me today? Of course God is the same forever and always, and people are largely the same as well, so no doubt this has struck many others as well.
Galatians 5 wraps up with a powerful section on walking and living in the Spirit. Next to the closing verse, verse 26, I wrote, “Today’s mom!” This of course refers to me, specifically, but also an epidemic I see sweeping motherhood, Christian and non-Christian alike, and perhaps not even new to this era, but something not apparent in history books. “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”
I have seen and have this tendency to boast in two different shades. Sometimes I boast with my rose-colored glasses on. Highlighting the victories while shading over the struggles, painting a masterpiece out of what may be little more than a watercolor picture. Other times I boast out of vanity, I really feel that I may have ‘arrived’ in one area or another. That second type of boasting doesn’t often last long. When I feel accomplished, God quickly uses a situation to bring me back into reality. One of my children often reminds me, unintentionally, how far I have yet to go. I have nothing to boast in, but Christ alone.
Regardless of the type of boasting welling up inside of me, the remainder of the verse hits home. In my boasting I approach others with a wrong attitude, sometimes challenging their knowledge and ability, other times envying their accomplishments. While I lift up my own experience, I know the hollowness of what I say and envy those who seem as put together as I am trying to sound. I love what a poster on another blog said recently about how we often judge others’ outsides compared to our insides. I rolled that around a while and it again brought me back to this verse.
In this Scripture the hope actually precedes the words of caution. The solution to this wrongful boasting and ultimately selfish view of others is to live and walk by the Spirit. I love this reminder, so simple, yet immeasurably deep. Each day this week, each moment, each thought, must be controlled by the Spirit, and reflect His fruit to others. Nothing that I have is worth boasting about, and walking by the Spirit will allow Him to shine through all my cracks.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:25, 26