We just finished reading through Galatians in the LIFE Journals this week.  In it Paul compares a life spent trying to “make it” by obeying the Law, and a life spent following Jesus.

The life spent following Jesus is a life spent completely differently than trying to live by the Law.  Because of what Jesus did in paying the penalty for all the times we failed to keep the Law, it allows us to focus on others.  We can face life with confidence and having the confidence that we are going to have what we truly need, it allows us to see the needs of others more fully.  We are not content with just seeing that need, we do what we can (little though it may be) to fill it.  Even when we have little with which to fill the needs of others, because we serve the God who was able to feed thousands with a few fish and couple loaves of bread.  We are able to fill the needs of others, because we serve a God who has promised to meet all of our needs.  We are able to fill the needs of others because, if necessary, we are willing to give the last of something we have, knowing God created the entire universe out of nothing.

Trying to live by the Law forces us to become self-centered.  We must do this, we must do that – we cannot do the following (million) things.  There is just no time to even look past our own lives at the lives of those around us.  Because we are so self-centered trying to live by the Law, even if we do get a glimpse of someone else’s problems, we need to spend our time and our resources taking care of ourselves.

Living our lives in light of Jesus’ sacrifice does require us to live with a self-centered attitude.  It is when it comes to sin.  Paul finishes his letter by telling the Galatian Church (and us) that when a person is caught in (any) sin, we should do what we can to restore them.  He warns us to be careful, so we do not fall into temptation.  This is where we need to be a bit self-centered; we are in danger of sinning ourselves, and so when we start down the path to being those “spiritual” people who are going to restore others, we better look at ourselves and make sure that log is out of our own eye first