I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.  — Thomas Jefferson

Freedom really is a dangerous thing, particularly if we misunderstand the purpose of our freedom. We are free. In fact, this freedom in Christ is what we are called to—made for—it’s our home… but to what end? What is the purpose of freedom?

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)

Paul told the Galatians their freedom existed for the purpose of serving each other humbly in love. He warned against indulgence and then called them to service. There’s that decision again. We aren’t supposed to use this freedom to indulge.

So then, why does this freedom exist? What’s the difference?

Indulgence says, “Life is about me.” Service says, “Life is about others.” Paul says there is one way to tell whether you are functioning in the flesh or the Spirit. Just ask the question, Who consumes me?

If your thoughts are mostly about yourself and how you fit in the world—or even how the world relates to you—you are likely indulging the flesh. But if you find your thoughts consumed with Jesus, and then drifting toward others and their well-being (and then you find yourself caring for them), you are likely walking in the Spirit.

Radical yet simple, isn’t it?

God Who Sees, I admit that I have bought into society’s idea that my life is a reflection of me and not a reflection of You. Lead me away from self-centered indulgence and give me eyes to see opportunities to serve. I do love others; I just don’t know where to start. Show me right now, and throughout this day, how You want to live through me to serve others in love. Amen.