Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. 8 If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.
Paul is addressing the Christians of Galatia who are being encouraged by some leaders to be circumcised. For Paul this is a slippery slope. If one feels the need to be circumcised to be part of the church then surely dietary laws and other rules will follow – producing a people who return to the bondage of the law Jesus came liberate us from. V.8 encourages a focus on one’s Spirit rather than the flesh. I don’t agree with Paul’s suggestion in this letter that the flesh is bad and the spirit good because God the Father created both in us.
But this passage speaks to me in another way this morning.
Since early this year I’ve been paying particular attention to my physical health. Last year during the pandemic shut-down my weight ballooned to the highest it’s every been. Not good for many reasons. Since February I’ve not really focused on losing weight, but on slowly reconstituting my body to reduce fat and gain some muscle mass. Being almost 55 years old does not make this easy, but I am slowly seeing progress.
I bring this up because I’ve had to focus more on my “flesh” than I have for many years. And I don’t believe Paul (the writer of our passage) or God would say that’s a bad thing, but our passage reminds me of what is more important. I don’t want to sacrifice my spirit to attend to my flesh. It’s not an either/or proposition, but a both/and. For the truth is, one day (fit or not) my body will fail me completely. It’s not designed to last forever, but my spirit (and yours) is eternal.
Lord help us go attend to both flesh and spirit, for both are a precious gift from you. Amen.