Feed the Ox | Galatians 6:6
Galatians 6:6 | ESV [This Week’s Passage: Galatians 6:1-10]
Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.
Mike’s Authorized Version (MAV)
And look, when you’re the one being supported by others as they put hands and feet to God’s Word for you and get your feet moving in harmony with its rhythms, don’t forget to stop and acknowledge them by showing your appreciation in all kinds of good, practical ways.
It can be a toss-up. Sometimes it can be just as hard or harder to receive help and instruction from others than it is to give it. Being a follower of Christ means becoming skilled at doing both. It is pursuing the grace of giving and receiving. When we are on the giving end of the equation, the challenge is to see the need and to lovingly, humbly, gracefully engage with that need as Christ in us would, as we become agents of reconciliation and healing. When we are on the receiving end, it’s the challenge of surrendering pride in receiving the help or instruction rather than chafing under it, and then being appropriately thankful. Jesus calls Levi out of his tax-collector’s booth and in the very act of it teaches him huge lessons about the nature of the kingdom of God, grace, and judgment. Levi learns, receives, and then throws Jesus a huge dinner party. Jesus didn’t call and instruct Levi so that he could get a free meal out of the deal – but he certainly didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation! The entire table then became another “lectern” of instruction about the kingdom of God for all present (see Mark 2:13-17). And so Paul says, “Those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14), or, quoting Moses in Deuteronomy, “Don’t muzzle the ox when it’s treading out the grain.” Comparing himself to an ox may not seem complimentary, but Paul says this entire statute of the law is ultimately aimed at just such a teaching moment. The message is clear: when someone blesses you with life-changing and transforming instruction, don’t begrudgingly accept it. Go over the top in your appreciation. It’s amazing how such gratitude can oil the wheels of God’s economy of grace.
Which do you find most challenging: giving instruction or receiving it? Why? Who has really helped you recently by “instructing you” in living out the Word? How can you thank and bless them?
Lord Jesus, lead me in this grace of giving and receiving in your divine economy of grace. Keep the lines of my heart flowing and open in healthy attitudes of grace and thanksgiving. Shape me into one who is both teachable and able to teach.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.