Verse 26. "Let us not be desirous of vain glory" - kenodoxoi? Let us not be vain glorious - boasting of our attainments; vaunting ourselves to be superior to others; or seeking honour from those things which do not possess moral good; in birth, riches, eloquence, &c., &c.
"Provoking one another" - What this may refer to we cannot tell; whether to the Judaizing teachers, endeavouring to set themselves up beyond the apostle, and their attempts to lessen him in the people's eyes, that they might secure to themselves the public confidence, and thus destroy St. Paul's influence in the Galatian Churches; or whether to some other matter in the internal economy of the Church, we know not. But the exhortation is necessary for every Christian, and for every Christian Church. He who professes to seek the honour that comes from God, should not be desirous of vain glory. He who desires to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, should not provoke another. He who knows that he never deserved any gift or blessing from God should not envy another those blessings which the Divine goodness may have thought proper to bestow upon him.
May not God do what he will with his own? If Christians in general would be content with the honour that comes from God, if they would take heed to give no provocations to their fellow Christians, if they would cease from envying those on whom either God or man bestows honours or advantages, we should soon have a happier and more perfect state of the Christian Church than we now see. Christianity requires us to esteem each other better than ourselves, or in honour to prefer one another. Had not such a disposition been necessary to the Christian character, and to the peace and perfection of the Church of Christ, it would not have been so strongly recommended. But who lays this to heart, or even thinks that this is indispensably necessary to his salvation? Where this disposition lives not, there are both the seed and fruit of the flesh. Evil tempers are the bane of religion and totally contrary to Christianity.