An interesting and sobering note from my studies today in Galatians. Paul compares the willful neglect of ministerial support while expecting continued blessing from them to mocking God (Galatians 6:6-7). The word for mocked in Greek (mukterizo) is used as a word picture for turning up a nose at one to ridicule or insult. The JFB Commentary describes this verb as “to sneer with the nostrils drawn up in contempt.” In essence, to neglect the ministry while expecting spiritual benefit is equal to mockingly turning up our nose to God. What a sobering analogy!
Paul uses this language to say that God will not be mocked by us, but will have us face the consequences of our actions. Specific to the metaphor used in verses 7-9, believers will not harvest spiritual benefits without equally putting in the necessary preliminary effort. We will generally not reap a harvest that we have not also sowed. This can be due to the ministry having their hands entangled with a secular profession, but also due to God restricting blessings even after the man of God has ample time. Christ has shown in other places that he is able to bless, or even restrict blessings, individually in each congregation (Revelation 3:20). The principle of sowing and reaping could equally be applied to prayers, reading, and any other spiritual discipline that we may neglect. Fellowship with Christ is restricted when effort from believers is neglected.
With that said, Paul does not use this language just to scare, or even shame the Galatians. He writes these words to solicit excitement for continued giving that may even broaden past the ministry (Galatians 6:9-10). Paul moves the principle of giving past the ministry, describing how we should be focused on helping all people in general with a special focus on your local church membership. We should never be weary in well doing because we know that God does in fact promise blessings in obedience. Do not be weary in doing good, because God will bless in due season.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalms 126:5
Article originally published on PBPerspective.com