Today Paul continues and expands on the point made in 6.6: the financial support of those teaching the Word to the Galatians.
Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.
Having given them the command to share all good things with those that teach, here Paul fleshes this out and says that, simply, God will not be made a fool. He knows your attitude to supporting His called and installed leaders, and if you consistently and persistently choose to invest your money in yourself (sows to his own flesh) you will eventually harvest the rewards of that (corruption from the flesh).
On the other hand, Paul says that if you are investing your time, your talents, and your tithes and treasures in the works of the Spirit (the church, the teaching of the Word) then you will reap eternal life.
We need to be careful that we don’t fall into a legalistic mindset, the very thing Paul was most concerned about for the Galatians. Tithing and giving financially to care for the teachers of the Word in your life is not a fast-pass to eternal life. Rather, it shows you understand the life God wants for you well enough to know that all good things come from Him (James 1.17) and it is only right to give some back (principles of Genesis 4.3, 8.20 for example).
Perhaps this kind of investment doesn’t seem as attractive to you: giving to church and to your teachers doesn’t seem to have quite as quick or as sizeable a return. Perhaps if you spent that money on yourself you’d be happier? Paul answers this potential objection and writes
…we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up.
Investing your time, talents, tithes, and treasures into the life of the church is playing the long game, for sure, but Paul writes that in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. Perhaps in this life you will see benefit, perhaps when you stand before the Lord. Either way, investment in the work of the Kingdom is never wasted.
We can see Paul’s train of thought here, can’t we, and he then opens up and says, do you know what,
…whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.
When you have opportunity then, do good to all people. Yes, start with the family of faith, but don’t forget those in your wider circle, don’t forget the community in which your church family is based.
Passages like this are hard to read, aren’t they? I’d suggest they’re hard to read because most of us could do better.
Most of us could support more the one who teaches.
Most of us could sow to the Spirit more consistently and with more dedication.
Most of us could sow to our own flesh a little less.
Most of us could take advantage of the opportunities we have to do good to all people…especially those who belong to the family of faith.
Most of us could do better to share all that God has blessed us with.
Today, try answering this question and committing to what you write: