Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5:13 (MSG)
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.
“For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.” -AMPLIFIED
Serve one another humbly. Use your freedom in Christ to serve one another in love. Use your freedom as an opportunity or excuse to serve and love one another. WOW!
Paul reminds the Galatians that they do indeed have freedom in Christ, but they were not to use that freedom to indulge their flesh, but to serve one another. In fact, this need to put others first was a theme with Paul.
He told the Philippians this, “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of
following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)
Paul reminded the Romans to be careful not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to; “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV)
Paul urged the Ephesians to live a life worthy of their high calling. “In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” -Ephesians 4:1-3 (MSG)
Mother Teresa once said, “I belong to Jesus. He must have the right to use me without consulting me,” that is true humility. Allowing God to use you for whatever it is He desires. There is no need for Him to ask us if we agree; if He says “go” we go; if He says “give” we give; if He says “be still” we are still.
“Lowliness of mind means not leaving any room for oneself – it is when we count others as better than ourselves. This is the most difficult of all Christian virtues. “-Watchman Nee
Use your freedom in Christ to serve; and in so doing allow freedom to grow in someone else. Serve in humility and serve in love; just as Jesus Christ served those who He came in contact with on a daily basis. He must increase; we must decrease.
Lord, help me to humbly serve others; help me to put self aside and think of others first. You were our prime example in having the heart of a servant. Help me to become more and more like you. Give me a heart of love to everyone I come in contact with. Help me to see the opportunities that are before me every day to serve others. Open my eyes, dear Lord.