Paul is talking to the church in Galatia about how you can’t earn God’s favor.
Sometimes, I feel like my life isn’t perfect because I’m either doing something wrong, or there’s something I’m not doing, or there’s some spiritual secret I haven’t grasped yet.
But I have to remind myself that even if I one day got it all together and became perfect from that moment forward, God wouldn’t owe me a dang thing.
If I act super spiritual for a week, God isn’t up in heaven saying, “well, I guess I have to give him that thing he’s been asking for now.”
If I’m going to let God utilize me, it’s going to be the imperfect version of my that exists now and always will exist.
This is what Paul is trying to hammer home to the Galatians: stop trying to make yourself perfect for God. When you make him part of your life, you become perfect in him.
And that’s when Paul says this:
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6)
That’s God’s grading rubric. Did your belief in God lead you to undertake actions based on love?
I think I subconsciously keep a running score on my own Christianity that’s based on how well I’ve avoided sin and done the ‘holy’ things: praying, reading the bible, etc.
I’m not saying that avoiding sin and praying and reading scripture is bad or worthless; I’m saying that’s not what God is primarily after. Those things will come out of a life of faith expressing itself through love.
The best results come when you’re doing things the right way, not when you’re trying to make the outcome look good.