For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
Devotion by Lynne Buell
Several emotions pop into my mind when reading this scripture.
The word ‘freedom’ sends vibes of thankfulness for having the privilege of worshipping and living freely without restraint. As a Spirt-led individual, I think I refrain from selfishness, and I try to be as involved as I can in taking part in our church’s missions—one of the most humbling being feeding the homeless at MUST Ministries. And we all know the most famous commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s a difficult one to master, and I take comfort in the fact that I’m not alone with this issue. The final part of this reading tells us not to ‘devour one another’. I believe it is referring to conflict and violence? Which is easy for me—well, sort of. I am not a violent person and I attempt to avoid conflict as much as possible. But it’s not always easy when I feel strongly about something.
So, the work on myself as a true follower of Christ continues to persevere. Does God give us credit for trying at least? I like to think so. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all followed the last part of the scripture to the letter? It’s unimaginable. It’s a joy to know, though, that we can begin to look at everyone around us and desire their happiness as we feel for our own. I think that’s a good start.
My prayer is that is that we blossom into loving one another no matter who they are or where they are on life’s journey. Amen.