Have you ever been awed by the precision of a marching band at half-time? You need to check out the Ohio State University marching band on You-Tube sometime.
In a military style marching band, each person takes an exact 30″ step, or 8 steps in five yards. No matter how big or small an individual is, their steps are exactly the same length. Knees are all lifted at exactly the same angle, no matter how short or tall the marcher is.
With all that precision, one person out of step sticks out like a sore thumb. One person marching right, left while everyone else is marching left, right ruins the whole effect of a precision marching band.
Paul is talking to the Galatians about precision marching. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (5:25) In verse 22 he tells us what that looks like:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right.
So what happens if one of our number falls out of step? Paul tells us what to do in chapter 6. “Restore him gently.” Paul doesn’t say ignore it, or kick him out, or even to just pray for the one out of step. When a brother or sister is out of step, we who are in step need to address it with them.
Paul calls it carrying each other’s burdens.
I asked if you’ve ever been awed by the precision of a marching band at half-time. I wonder, have you ever been awed but the precision of a church fellowship in step with the Spirit?
I pray that each of us will be a part of an awe-inspiring fellowship of believers, walking in step with the Spirit, and making an eternal difference in the hearts of people in our communities. In a world where we are encouraged to “do our own thing,” let’s do the Spirit’s thing as we walk with Him in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.