Chapter-a-Day Galatians 5

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
. Galatians 5:13 (TM)

Wendy and I went to the play see Huck Finn at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre a few weeks ago. It brought back a great story that I hadn’t heard in a long time as Huck and his mother’s slave, Jim, make their way up the Mississippi on a raft. They are trying to get Jim to freedom in the North. The show made me think a lot about freedom.

I believe we take freedom for granted – just like linoleum. While on a mission in the Philippines I was ushered into the straw hut of a woman who was my host for lunch. She was so excited to show me the scrap of linoleum that was stretched across her hut. It was dirty and had been pulled out of a garbage dump somewhere but it was new to her and it covered her floor. She hadn’t known anything but a dirt floor her entire life. She was excited and proud, and I rejoiced with her. When I returned home, I had a new perspective and appreciation for linoleum.

Freedom is a precious thing, and it’s easy to take it for granted. It’s tempting, over time, to mistake our freedom for license – to do what we want, when we please, with whomever we please. Instead, God intends that our freedom – contained by our love of Christ – will unleash us to love graciously, actively, extravagantly.

One thought on “Chapter-a-Day Galatians 5”

  1. Here’s the part that struck me today:
    “Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
    My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with the free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day.” (13-18)
    God gives yet another example of an upside down world, where we find freedom by being a servant. I think that my definition of freedom has gotten really muddled by the world, with freedom being re-defined as whatever is best for me. The true reality is that looking only toward my own self-interest just puts me back in chains all over again; I lose perspective and life is unsatisfying. I spend my time grasping for what’s mine instead of living in all the good God has to offer.

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