Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Flesh, The Spirit

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. ~ Galatians 6:8, NIV
I was quoting this verse the other day, and I noticed, for the first time, something simple, slight, and telling.

Whoever sows to please...

THEIR flesh...

THE Spirit...

I like congruency, so I read this and think, "Whoa, shouldn't these words be the same to be grammatically congruent?" But they're not. So, naturally, I know that Paul must have had a reason.

"Their" is a plural, possessive pronoun. That means ownership. Each of us owns a flesh. It is not outside of us, meaning we cannot lay blame on anyone for this; it is inside of us -- mine and yours. {Of course, the less you feed it and the more you starve it, the weaker it becomes. But that takes the strength of God!}

"The" is an article. I do not own it (or I'd say my; my shoe versus the shoe). The Spirit is very different from my spirit. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit of God; my spirit is Aidan's spirit, which is contaminated by my flesh. "Whoever sows to please their spirit..." That's like saying follow your heart. (Ha! I definitely don't want to go where it would lead me!) While believers are given the gift of the Spirit, He does not become ours. He lives in us, but we do not own Him.

Sowing to please THE Spirit (and not my flesh),