Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Called to be Free

How do you live free?

What impact does it have on how we live in relationship with others?

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to live free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command, 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' If you bite and devour one another, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Galatians 5:13-15)

We were called to live free. That's a pretty big thing to try to grasp. In many ways, it's a bit of an abstract concept to try to wrap our brains around. Paul takes the time to teach us what it looks like to live this way, to show us how this means we should live.

Paul knew the importance if how we treat one another. He calls his readers to a radically different way of living than the world around them in these verses as he begins to teach them what it means to live the free life we've been called to.

Paul is calling Christians to humbly serve one another in love, rather than indulge in their own fleshly desires. At a glance, these two things seem unrelated, but I think they're more related than we realize. If we're indulging our own desires, then humbly serving others in love is not going to be something that even crosses our mind.

Most of our fleshly desires are selfish, self-serving, not serving or loving towards others. Paul is reminding his original readers and us about what should be different about us. When we're humbly serving others in love, we're looking for ways to put other people first, to be intentional in our actions toward them. This is impossible to do if we;re using our freedom in Christ to indulge our flesh.

These verses end with a warning about what happens if we choose to bite and devour one another. Treating one another this way is how we destroy each other. It doesn't bring good for us or them; it brings destruction to all involved.

So, to answer the questions I began this post with:

How do you live free?

What impact does it have on how we live in relationship with others?

It all goes back to what Jesus said when He was on earth. We love God with everything we have, and then we love our neighbours as we love ourselves. It's as simple and as difficult as that. The answer is simple, but sometimes living it out is much more difficult.

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