Galatians 5:4-5 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
This Scripture makes me think of all the people I have known who used to seem so connected to God and showing His love through them, just to see them fall away. Yet, they hold onto the parts they can do like giving to charity or helping someone do something if they have time.
This also reminds me of the “Christians” who go through all the motions, but when it comes to the heart and empathizing with someone, they run from it, not wanting to be burdened or feel someone else’s pain.
In both cases they seem to be trying to make themselves righteous by themselves, no longer relying on the cross for their righteousness.
When we just go through the motions, I see us as under the law, trying to save ourselves through our works. When we live like this we are alienated from Christ because He is about relationship and believing in Him only for our salvation and justification.
There is a difference in doing something because of obligation and doing it because your heart is changing and you can’t help but to be compassionate toward another person. To be compassionate is not only to hand them a basic need, but to care about what they need to grow out of that situation. To listen, to carry, to take their burden on your shoulders, and to be their strength when they are weak.
To sacrifice yourself and your time, to strengthen another is being like Jesus.
Jesus got to know sinners, He felt their pain and He sacrificed himself for them, ultimately building a relationship and letting Love transform them.
Jesus didn’t only have close relatives or friends that He came to help, He came to help us all.
Do you put time into people or just a quick donation or handout?
Do you go pack food and feel your job is done til the next round?
Is the time you give only to help those in another country who you will never meet? Or do you realize those people are your neighbors?
Do you only put time into your friends and family, even the Pharisees did that?
To sum this all up, do you try to justify yourself through motions (law) or do you sacrificially give of yourself to people around you?