Today’s Study Verse is Galatians 5:26. “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
I heard a godly Preacher say the other day, “Let’s ‘unpack’ this portion of Scripture.” He respectfully meant that the Holy Spirit heavily “loads” the Word of God with manifold meaning! And any single Portion of Scripture thus can be “mined” for (spiritual) nuggets of gold, precious treasure indeed! (Listen to Psalm 19:10 describe the Bible’s eternal Truths. “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Wow!)
So again … Galatians 5:26 … “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Let’s reverently “analyze” these words, a Greek derivative meaning “to loosen” the meaning, as if “untying a hard knot!”
“Let us (not) be” is the verse’s first verb. Technically “ginomai” here is NOT a command. It’s rather written in the subjunctive mood. It is a suggestion, a desire, the “ideal” Paul is wishing for his people, the Christian converts in the Galatian Churches.
The word “desirous of vain glory” translates a single Greek adjective! And “kenodoxos” means “empty honor!” Each person craving for personal fame, reputation, power, sway!
The verb “provoking” is “prokaleo,” really “calling forth,” as if “inviting someone to do battle!” Challenging your brother or sister to war! Stirring up a conflict! This is amazing. (“Bring it on,” one to another? Hardly God’s perfect Will!)
Then comes today’s “negative” one-to-another thought. Do NOT be “envying one another.”
Here the Greek verb is “phthoneo,” the only time this VERB appears in Scripture. (Though its noun form occurs 9 times.) It means “to envy” of course, but in this sense: “to bear a grudge!” Another lexicon says: “to have ‘ill will’ toward a person!” To hold “malice” in one’s heart … against a fellow Christian. To be jealous. (Although sometimes “jealousy” is defined as “fear of loss.” And “envy” as “desire for gain.”)
In other words, we SHOULD love one another and encourage one another and a dozen other “good” activities as well. But we must not ( strongly unadvised) ENVY each other!
Bury the hatchet!
Forget that … “I’m getting even” feeling!
Do not want … what the other person has … be content!
Count YOUR blessings!
One more time … today’s Verse. “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Let’s pray … “Lord, help us to live these words in our various relationships one with another, as Believers in Thee. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell