I unexpectedly found help in understanding this verse from a sermon I heard on Mark 4.
Mark 4v24 helped me see the connection between Galatians 6v6 and v7-8. v6 seems a bit random in its context. In v1-5 Paul has been talking about bearing one another’s burdens, and in v7-10 he talks about sowing and reaping, and not growing weary in doing good to those around us. What is this part in the middle about sharing all good things with the one who teaches us the word doing there?
Is this just one of those good deeds for us to do, making sure you pay the preacher? I think there’s more to it than that.
In Mark 4v24, when Jesus says “with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” he’s talking about paying attention to what you hear. That illustration “with the measure you use” was an illustration from the marketplace. Say you’re selling flour on your market stall and you measure the flour out generously to your customers, the suggestion is that the person you buy your fruit from will be similarly generous in measuring out the portion you receive. If you give generously, you will receive plenty back. But Jesus used this illustration in telling people to pay attention to what they hear. This was just after he had explained the parable of the sower, which was about how people receive the word of God, so I think it’s fair to assume that in v24 when Jesus said “pay attention to what you hear”, he meant pay attention when you hear the word of God. With the measure of attention you give to hearing the word of God, your reward will be measured to you.
And that’s not a mercenary reward; if you’re diligent in hearing the word of God in the hope that you’re earning material rewards, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s more of an organic cause and effect: the more you pay attention to God’s word, the better you’ll get to know God, and there can’t be any better reward than that. Galatians 6v7: “whatever one sows, that will he also reap”. If you sow attention to God’s word, you’ll reap knowledge of the God who breathed out that word.
Hence in Galatians 6v6, the one who is taught the word should share all good things with the one who teaches. It’s a good idea to invest in Bible teachers. If we sow sharing good things with Bible teachers, we’ll reap Bible teaching, and Bible teaching is good because as we hear God’s word, we get to know God himself better.