Galatians 5:13,”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.”
There is a fine line between a lot of things in life. Between brilliance and insanity, love and hate, pleasure and pain, bravery and stupidity, you get the picture. We need to determine where that line is and navigate our way around it. One area that came to mind is competition. There can be healthy competition to spur us on and press into things with more excellence. This line can quickly deteriorate when comparison blurs the lines or we are trying to defeat someone to build ourselves up.
Humility is key.
Humility positions us to receive God’s grace that enables us to be all we were created to be. It is not a weakness as it is often perceived to be. In fact it is quite the opposite. Pride keeps our focus on ourselves and humility keeps our focus on God. Competing through the filter of comparison builds false pride in our hearts and doesn’t allow us to be free to be who we are.
The apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians mainly to bring truth to the church. Judaizers, or those that believed Gentile (non-Jewish) believers had to submit to Jewish law and traditions in addition to believing in Christ were dividing the church. Paul responded by teaching that salvation was by God’s grace and Nothing Else. He taught that faith in Christ meant true freedom. (Life Application Study Bible NIV)
So imagine with me, the pull on the believers of that time to follow deeply rooted religion and traditions or to move into the freedom that was offered as a gift. Only God can pull out the deep roots in us in such a way as to leave things behind that don’t serve a life of liberty. This truth still stands today. After Paul admonishes that his brothers and sisters in the church were called to be free, he goes on to say in verses 14 & 15, ‘For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.’
See sometimes the enemy does not need to hand hold the whole process of destroying someone. He just needs to plant a seed into a heart missing the fine lines and before you know it, it can slither its way into a full-grown tree of bitterness and resentment. Living in unforgiveness can then cause the seeds to drop into other available places of emptiness.
Insecurity can drive someone to compare and covet another’s gifts or possessions.This can move into belief that they themselves are unworthy. It can grow into jealousy and fits of rage that they aren’t blessed themselves. It becomes a competition to see who is better, often with the other being unaware there even is a competition. Bad mouthing and gossip result in an effort to try to stifle the insecurities. See how that circle spiralled into sin. I have been that person in the past and so I can speak into that. Pride kept me stuck.
I can also speak into the saving grace and freedom of Christ. Humility opened the door.
The goal is this: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22,23
The fuel is this: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
Pick your race and start running. Read Galatians, soak in the truth of your freedom in Christ. If you don’t know Jesus yet, read Romans and get the truth of the right road.
Lord open our eyes to stay in your lines. Help us when we are deceived by our wounds and hurt. Help us to walk a life of humility and forgiveness. Help us to display your fruit and to serve one another in humility and love. Help us to build others up and not tear them down. May we walk in the righteousness you have freely given us. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.