Breathe in, “Calm my mind.” Exhale, “Soften my heart.”
13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
Galatians 5:13-16 NLT
The other day, I asked my family which fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 most appealed to them. Based on our answers, we all realized together: the one that appealed to us seemed to be the one we struggled with most. We teased each other as our answers unfolded. The one prone to frustration said self-control was most appealing; the one who tends to be too serious answered that joy stood out to them; the one most anxious answered with peace; and the exception to the rule was the five year old who is sweet as can be and with childlike faith answered, love.
Of course there is no wrong answer, but love does seem to have a leg up on the ol’ fruits of the Spirit. When we read Galatians 5:13, Paul tells us that if we serve one another in love, our sin will not guide our life. When we walk by the Spirit, we remove the space for selfishness and temptation to lead us. This is freedom. We are called to serve one another instead of quarrel with one another. And how do we know we are being guided by the Spirit? There will be fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control! Against such things there is no law.
Have your opinions, judgments, or preferences limited you from being able to serve others? Is your flesh more in control than the Spirit?
Let my freedom be used to serve others humbly in love rather than to serve myself.
What is one way you can serve in love, today?