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
Being bound by the rules of today’s society is a very real thing. If we are not careful we can become so caught up in keeping up with unreachable standards that we end up beaten down and broken-hearted. We will always be grasping for one more trinket, new clothes, houses, cars, new titles, a higher education, yet we will still never feel quite good enough. These “things” are not bad, but they are bad when they control us. This is the epitome of modern day bondage. In a country where we pride ourself on freedom, it is truly sad to realize that our so-called freedom is enslaving us. Our freedom allows us to go to college, work long hours, buy vacation homes, and spend a crazy amount of time on extracurricular activities with our kids. Once again, these “things” can be good – in moderation. However, when they become the driving force of 28 out of 24 hours of our day then we have a major problem. We are handcuffed to tasks and do not even realize it. I am 100% guilty of this “gain more” mentality. God is calling us to be free of these things so that our hearts and innermost beings can be focused on serving others. So many people around us are truly struggling with life. They may barely be scraping by, which makes them unable to pay their bills and feed their children. If we are so far in debt, making six figures a year but living paycheck to paycheck, then we are unable to help them. On the other hand, our neighbor may be extremely wealthy but have a heart that longs for companionship. If we are so bound to the daily grind, with a schedule that makes our head spin, then we will not be able to serve them in the true act of friendship. God says not to use our freedom to indulge our own desires, but to use the freedom that we have been so graciously granted to serve our neighbors in love.
Luke 4:18 paints a beautiful picture of how we can serve others in true love and what our focus should be on: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
God, today I pray that you will free me of anything that is taking my focus off of you and the expansion of your Kingdom. Let me live in Your freedom, which is the freedom to serve others. Please release any chains that are holding me back. Please help me move past the desire to serve myself. Help me not to live in a state of entitlement anymore. Help others see Your love through me. Amen.