The Church, Missions & Technology

Check Your Heart: Galatians 6:4

As Paul is wrapping up this letter to the Galatian believers, he instructs them to examine their own hearts, we would say examine our motives. We have seen this before in the New Testament. Jesus gave us this same instruction in both Matthew and Luke’s gospel. Even instructing us not to try to take the speck out of our brothers eye without looking into our own eyes to see a huge piece of wood blocking our true vision.


So how does this affect our views of racial problems in the church. Well first things first, we have to examine our own hearts to see what racial prejudices we have hidden there.. Each of us have them. Some of us have been hurt or rejected by members of another race. This can cause us to develop false emotions towards that race. So we have to check our hearts and attitudes towards these children that are His. Because I lived in the Middle East for several years good Christian people would ask me how can you love Arab Muslims who want to destroy America? I would laugh a little and say simply for two reasons. First, we are commanded to love them. Second, as human being, they bear the image of God. We, humans are his image bearers and so if we start looking at them like they bear the image of God maybe we will not look at them like they are undeserving of our love or grace.

One of the best ways for us as believers to check our hearts is in community or in a one on one relationship with one another. Just yesterday I sat with a 62 year old man who started opening his heart on matters of faith and racial prejudices. He told me that he had not shared this with his pastor because he felt like he could not talk to him about his sin. So we have to find someone that we can share the secret hidden motives that spark our hearts to put words in our mouth. Please find someone that you can share life with. Find someone that will agree to ask you hard questions that will help you grow in your maturity with Christ.

Restore One Another: Galatians 6:1

For years many of our churches have turned a blind eye to racial issues both in and outside the church. This cannot remain. Many times church leaders have been afraid to correct wrong doing especially when it comes to dealing with issues related to racial prejudices. This sin, just like any other sin, for that matter, can no longer be ignored in our churches.


Paul is telling the Galatian believers that they must restore each other in this process. How do we restore our friends and family that make racial comments in the church? How do we restore years of cultural bias that has passed down over the generations? The best way to start is by being gentle and loving. As verse one says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit.” Correction is hard enough but restoring them is another step in the wonderful process of righteousness. You might have to ask small group teachers to step down over comments they make and after a time of correction they can be restored to leading a small group again.

As leaders in the church, you can set the example of how members of the flock are corrected and restored. You have the chance to model to staff and lay leaders how this process will flow in the future. This is another command that we see in Galatians that can easily apply to our lives today. This is a perfect example of how Christ wants us to live out our lives in front of a culture that expects us to live double lives by not obeying truth.

Love Your Neighbor

I am well aware that we do not live in a perfect world. But issues related to race would be so much better if we would treat each other in the same ways that we would like to be treated. I like to use the phrase, “It’s Not Rocket Science”. If we would treat people with the same respect we would like to have, then it seems as though the world or at least your street would be a better place. Here in Galatians Paul is trying to get the believers to do just that. Even in verse 13 he compels them to serve one another in love. This is something that Christ commands from the time he walked the earth.


What is interesting is this is a quote Paul is using from the Old Testament. If we take a look at Leviticus 19:18 we see something that will also help us as we strive to end racial issues in the church. This verse goes further by commanding us not to hold a grudge or seek revenge on members of our community, but to love them as ourselves.

We know what the Bible says about love. We know what the Bible says about loving all peoples and those from various backgrounds. We know what the Bible says about loving our neighbors, but are we going to do it? I am asking what it will take for you this month to show love to those of a different color. I know that most of you reading this are from the same ethnic background so I can challenge you to make an effort this week to start loving a person of a different race. Treat them in the ways that you want to be treated. Now get ready for the bonus part.

Do not treat this as a project that you are going to do once a quarter. You need to integrate this into your everyday life. If there is a minority that you encounter on a regular basis, make it a point to strike up a friendship with them. Learn about them. Love them and treat them as you want to be treated.

Who Is Preventing You From Obeying The Truth: Galatians 5:7

Paul asks the Galatian believers several questions about what happened to them. How could they, after doing so well, get tricked or prevented by some force from obeying what they knew to be true. I believe Paul wanted an answer. I know that I would have if I was writing a letter to people I was discipling.

So what is our natural response when someone tries to correct us? We tend to respond with something like, “I don’t know”, or “I didn’t really mean it”. The fact is we need correction from time to time. We need people who will help keep us on course with loving all peoples of the earth.


Most of the time we have an item, or a person, who is keeping us from obeying the truth. We know what the Bible says about how we are to treat people from another background, but for some odd reason we don’t want to treat them according to what the Bible instructs. This is exactly what Paul was talking about here in Galatians 5. We have to be bold as Christians who want to strive for truth so we must ask our fellow believers what is causing you to speak in that way? This will help us find constructive ways to help believers combat racial issues in the church.

Strive to get to the bottom of the issue individually. In everyone’s past there is a story about why they feel a certain way about people of various colors. By discovering reasons why believers have racial issues in the church we can move forward by looking at what Paul is trying to get the Galatians to understand about loving your neighbor.

Racial Prejudices Doesn't Accomplish Anything: Galatians 5:6

I think we have all been at that place in life where we have that feeling that it just doesn’t matter anymore. No matter what I do he or she will not listen to me. We almost want to give up. Why is that? We want to give up because it feels like we are not accomplishing anything. In the passage we are looking at today that is exactly what Paul was trying to tell the Galatian believers about prejudices. It doesn’t accomplish anything. It doesn’t bring about anything good. This is not only true inside the church but also outside in the greater community that we live.


If we were all to recognize and try our best to treat each other as we would like to be treated we wouldn’t have this problem. I am pretty sure that Paul was trying to explain to the Galatians believers that if treating any person different on the purposes of race or gender or any other difference does not accomplish any good.

So if it doesn’t accomplish anything what are we to do about it? Paul says what matters here is faith working through love. Paul says this exact phrase again in the final chapter of Galatians so we know that it is super important for the Galatians to get this right. It is equally important for us as Christians to get this right as well. We have to treat everyone with love expressed by our faith. So what does our faith say to do to strangers, widows, the hungry and homeless. We have to love them regardless of their skin, country of origin or current status in this life. We must love them.