Free to Serve

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For you have been called to live in freedom — not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13

What will you use your freedom for? It’s an important question, since one of the greatest things about being born again is the freedom that comes from the Spirit of God. “And wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

In Christ we have been set free from the power and the penalty of sin, free from trying to earn God’s favor, free from the insatiable need to please ourselves, and free to know the truth. Even though we may not be aware of all these freedoms, they are nonetheless true and available to each of us by faith.

But the question Paul addressed in Galatians is what we use this freedom for. He suggests that we use this freedom to lovingly serve each other.

Notice the things we have been set free from, they all revolve around the self. Think about it. Most of us have spent the better part of our lives getting all the attention. Even the guilt, self-pity, and regret we love to wallow in are all about us. Imagine freeing up the thinking time we put into self-indulgence — feeling guilty, judging others to feel better by comparison, and figuring out how to please our selfish desires — and imagine spending that time on someone else.

First you will need to remind yourself of your freedom in Christ because forgetting that is what gets us stuck in the first place. Then use that freed-up time to identify with what someone else is going through and plan how you can serve him or her.

If being free to serve sounds like an oxymoron, it’s only because we have all become so used to being in bondage we can’t imagine being free. But free to serve is what we were meant to be. It’s how we become useful to God.

Next time you catch yourself absorbed in you-know-who, stop and think about what you can do for someone around you. Remember your freedom in Christ and spend it on others. Think about what their needs might be — ask them, if you don’t know — and serve them in love. It’s time for someone else to get our attention for a change.

Question: During this difficult time, what’s one way you can share Christ’s love with others?

By John Fischer
Used by Permission

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