I found myself in Galatians 5 today. Verse 1 in the Message says:
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
I think my idea of living a free life has always been what most people envision — the ability to live your life however you want to. Isn’t that part of the American dream? To decide your own destiny? To choose your own path and be able to live however you want?
Listen to what verses 13 and 16 say:
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.
So how do I reconcile what God’s Word says with what I, by nature, assume freedom to be? If freedom is the opposite of living selfishly, then I will know whether or not I am free by my actions. If I’m living selfishly — even in the little things — then I know I am a slave to my sin nature. If I’m acting in love, then I will see fruit — verse 22:
…things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity…
How am I using the freedom Christ has purchased for me? To follow my own agenda and seek my own fulfillment? Or rather to love and bless others?Do I have affection for others, exuberance about life and serenity? If not, then where has selfishness led me astray?
Lord, open my eyes to my true motivations. Lead me in paths of righteousness, not selfishness. I want to love others the way you do. Amen