“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
Paul speaks the words found above in the context of talking about believers living and relating to one another as a community of redeemed people. He speaks about restoring (gently I might add) fellow believers who are caught in sin, bearing one another’s burdens, and sharing good things with those who faithfully labor to teach the Word. It seems as if Paul is suggesting that these things (among others), should be a regular part of what goes on in the life of local churches.
The unfortunate reality is that this is often a far cry from what actually goes on in many churches. We exist more like social clubs that gathers on occasion, more than a community or a household. We mercilessly rake brothers and sisters who are caught in sin over the coals instead of gently restoring them. We couldn’t care less about other people’s burdens much less bearing them because our own are too many and too important. Rather than sharing good things with those who teach us, we often deride them.
Now…let me be clear…I don’t want to be one of those guys who gets all down on the church and starts spittin’ venom about all her problems. I love The Church (universal) and I love the local body of believers of which I am a part. I just get excited and a bit saddened when I read of what the Church is meant to be. Excited because, the LORD has done a marvelous thing in saving tons of people and making them a part of a Body. No doubt, the Church is the display of “the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10). But, I’m also sadden by gross “fallings-short” of what our LORD has called us to be.
The truth is, living as a community of redeemed people is hard work and it can get messy, BUT, I do not think that because this is the case, we should throw up our hands or make up a slew of excuses for why we don’t endeavor by God’s grace and with the strength that he supplies to really live as a body; a bona fide community. I can assure you that if this is what we are laboring for, we will better understand why Paul issues the exhortation he does in Galatians 6:9-10.
Brothers and sisters -living in community with each other in a way that honors the LORD is taxing stuff, but we can rest assured that Church life as explained in the scriptures is designed the way it is for the glory of God and for our good.