“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Gal. 5:9)
A short verse but a serious message. The leaven’s job is to spread. It doesn’t take much to become a lot. It works its way right through the whole lump of dough until every single particle is leavened. This works in two different ways and because of that, we have to be careful how it works in us.
The leaven can be good if we want the bread to rise but bad if we want the bread flat. So, depending on the outcome leaven can work for us or against us. It is obvious in this verse that Paul has a negative thought about the leaven. He sees what is happening among the churches of Galatia as a bad thing and though it may be small at the beginning it has the potential to become a major problem affecting the whole church and the church’s relationship with God.
The Judaizers were leaven for bad. Their influence and their teaching had the potential to spread unto the whole church, province-wide. It could then spread to other provinces and pollute the gospel all across Asia Minor.
Just as we should not be leaven for bad we should be leaven for good. Our job as Christians is to leaven the whole lump of the world for good. The gospel must be spread, the good news told until every soul has the opportunity to accept the grace. If we find ways to gripe and complain about our assembly, the teachers, song leaders and preachers we are potential leaven for bad. Speaking against the shepherds of God’s flock and causing disruption in the body is leaven for bad.
On the other hand, kind words, gentleness, and patience are good leavening qualities and need to be spread all through the local body. Just keep in mind that what you say and how you act is leaven and affects the church of our Lord.
Task for Today: Check your personal leaven outcome. What are your words and actions doing to affect the body where you worship? Remember that just a little, just a very little, can impact the entire lump. Do only good works and speak words that only encourage. Be a good leaven.