Today in my reading, I was captured by the words of Paul found in Galatians 5:5: “For through the Spirit, we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.” The life of faith is lived in and through the Spirit of God. Paul reminds us that we are eagerly awaiting for something. Not just waiting but excitedly and expectantly awaiting. Waiting is something we all must do, and I have yet to meet anyone who enjoyed waiting. Waiting feels like inactivity something like being stuck in neutral and making zero progress. When idling, you feel frustrated by the lack of progress and feeling helpless. The Apostle Paul uses an interesting word to qualify the idea of wait: eagerly. My guess is you have never put these two words together: eagerly and waiting! It seems that they describe opposite possibilities. As believers, we do have something exciting we are awaiting: the moment our faith becomes sight. Whether we remain here when He comes or we pass on from this life, either way for the Christian, there is a hope that cannot be shaken.
In the verse that immediately follows Paul further states, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6) When you are in Christ, it does not matter if you are Jew or Gentile, black or white, rich or poor, male or female. There is to be a unity when we are grounded in the life-transforming power of the Gospel. Where you come from, who you are parents are and where you went to school is not what matters. What counts is that our faith expresses itself through love.
Our faith should make us more loving, according to the inspired words of Paul. Faith may make us more confident or content; it very well could make us more comfortable to get along with and a better neighbor.
When people reflect on their experiences with people of faith is loving one of the first things that come to their mind? I wonder. What would happen if we decided to be as concerned with being loving as we do with being right?
Paul was quite precise in his language: “the only thing that counts.” He did not say this is one of many essential items, or this is fairly significant, he said this is the “only thing that counts.” Paul wants to grab our attention. In a world where we are given or take on several important tasks, never forget there is one only one thing that counts! Faith expressing itself through love!
How about taking on an assignment for the upcoming week? Look for ways to express your faith through love. Do not just look for ideas, plan on being a faith-filled person going through life loving everyone you come across.
How does this work?
1 Start by being loving at home! Do something unprompted and loving for your spouse, children, or parents. Faithful loving actions and attitudes should begin at home.
2 Encourage a spiritual friend. Write a note to your pastor, Bible study leader, or a person who has invested in your spiritual growth. Let them know what an impact they have had on your life.
3 Do something loving for someone who will not or cannot do something for you. If love is to spring from our faith, then it is not about giving to get something in return. Give because that is what springs up from a faith-filled loving heart.
4 Contact someone from whom you are estranged. Again, do it because it is the right thing to do. Keep your expectations low; just do it because you are developing your loving actions that come from faith ‘muscles.’
5 Be alert. I am convinced that throughout every day, opportunities present themselves for us to love others. If your ears are attuned to the spirit and your eyes open to the possibilities of grace, you will find numerous ways to respond in love today.
Try it! I would love to hear what you discovered.