Modern pictures often portray bold contrasting colours, as do some manufactured things; it is a fashion. They rather hit you in the eye – whites and yellows, set against blues, blacks and reds. This is particularly the case in marketing whee the adverts aim to grab our attention.
Our reading today in Galatians does not set colours in contrast but human behaviour! It describes the good behaviours that our God and the Lord Jesus are looking to see. These are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control” (5:22,23). In contrast, Paul also lists the things that God and His Son hate to see. These are “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality … jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries … envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that” (5:19-21).
Paul says about the second list, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Paul knew he needed to repeat the warning! How much more today is that warning needed.
There is no middle way! It’s either a broad way, which so many people are following, or the narrow way. The ideal attitude is to have our minds ‘fixed’ in the direction of the kingdom – then our feet will stay on the narrow pathway. Beware of trying to walk on both paths. The believers at Laodicea were the worst example of trying this and were rejected because they were neither one thing nor the other, they were “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16).
There is joy and peace when we join together to follow the narrow way. It is a great contrast to human behaviour today, which is empty of real meaning. Let us heed the warning, for “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”.