Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Context is everything

Read:  Galatians 6:7-11
Paul wrote, "Let us work for the good of all."   - Galatians 6:10 (NRSV)
Audio:  Galatians 6
Bible in One Year: Psalms 7-9; Acts 18
Context is everything; knowing the context in which someone said something keeps the words from becoming tools of destruction. Knowing the context of a beloved, often-quoted saying may enrich its meaning even more. Like many persons, I grew up hearing snippets from the Bible all the time. Some phrases or sayings from the Bible I heard apart from organized religion.
Even though context is important, tone can carry equal weight. I remember as a child hearing Paul's words to the Galatians, "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow." I often heard these words as chiding and chastising. I received them as a negative warning.
While Paul discourages believers in Galatia from "sowing to the flesh," he presents a balanced picture, reminding them that in sowing to the Spirit they "will reap eternal life from the Spirit." Paul's words build to a great crescendo of encouragement: "So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up."
These are not the words of someone shaking a finger in another's face as if expecting him or her to do the wrong thing. These are words of encouragement, cheering us on as we persist in doing the right thing.  - Gregory V. Palmer (Ohio, USA)
Thought for the Day
God wants to help us make right choices.
Dear God, help us to know your word and proclaim it. By the power of your word, give us life. Amen.
Prayer focus:  Someone making a difficult decision
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway." ~ Mother Teresa
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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