“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:25-26.
It’s easy to fall into a pattern of living where we’re enjoying the feeling of being connected with God and still not actually taking any action where we begin to live like a child of God ought to live. Another way of saying it is, we feel different but we’re not acting different.
But it’s not enough to feel different. Any change that’s a real change will give the world a different us to relate to. That’s what the apostle Paul was talking about when he penned the words, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Paul then goes on to define some of the most common motivations that interfere with our walk in the Spirit. He does this by employing a common pattern for instruction: first to state something in theological terms and then to repeat it in practical terms. In this case the practical terms are to “not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Simply put, conceit is thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to. And this assigning too high a priority to ourselves is the most frequent motivation for the divisive actions and envying that exists between people.
The opposite of conceit is humility. The purpose of humility is to open the door of our hearts so that we can give greater consideration to others. It’s not enough to merely think less of ourselves we need to think more of one another and take action to serve each other’s needs. If we were to do this there wouldn’t be room for us to entertain the envying and disputing that lead to so much of the discord that comes into our relationships. This fruit, born of the presence of the Spirit, will serve to produce the unity that Jesus prayed for and that the world needs to see in us if the gospel is to be powerfully proclaimed.
For too long we’ve sought a shallow religion of merely feeling the presence of the Spirit. Let us now chose to walk with Him as well.