Performance vs. Practice

19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5).

Hmm … any out there among you ever have “impure” thoughts? Put things (stuff) before God? How about “jealous” or “envious” of anyone? Show too much “anger” at anyone? Not get along with anyone? Well, aren’t you really, really glad Paul said “practice” (from “prassō”—“to habitually practice” as a way of life), instead of “fall into” those kinds of things?

Apart from the grace of God, according to this list, we are all doomed to inherit the flames of hell. None of us would remain in the kingdom of God because we all continue to commit at least some (most?) of these sins. Yet, because the Spirit of God lives within us, we do not set out to do these things. They are not our intention. They are not our lifestyle. We struggle against doing them. We do not revel in them. We fall into them. We may perform them on the stage of life now and again, but we never practiced them.

Lord, thank You again for Your grace in our lives! Thank You for Your Spirit within us, who, though we may perform sin now and again, will not allow us to give our lives over to the practice of intentional, purposeful sinning. Amen.