So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. Galatians 6:10 NRSV
We have all heard the expression "pay it forward." It's really an old idea to do nice things for others, not expecting to receive anything in return but because it's the right thing to do. For the Wesleyans reading this, you'll remember it simply as stated in the book by retired United Methodist Bishop Reuben P. Job's interpretation of John Wesley's General Rules as "Do Good."
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
We find the Biblical inspiration for doing good in the first chapter of Genesis, the creation story. At the end of the sixth day, once all was created, God looked upon his work and pronounced it "very good." Having created Adam and Eve in his image, he gave them stewardship to be responsible managers and doers of good.
In today's verse, Paul reminds the church in Galatians to "pay it forward" to everyone. In the previous verse, He encourages us to "not grow weary in doing what is right." But then we come to that puzzling statement, "especially for those of the family of faith." What he means by this is not that our brothers and sisters in Christ are shown preference but that they are not forgotten. The message is to focus equally on caring for the needs of those inside and outside the church family. We need to pay it forward through our ministry and mission.
God of good help us to show goodness to others, treating all equally and not neglecting anyone. May we do this for your glory, not expecting anything in return but purely from the love you've shown us. Amen.