Read: Galatians 5:5-15
Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).
When a busy mother asks her teenager to clean her room, the daughter replies in an irritated voice, “Can’t you see I’m busy?” The mother retorts, “You are busy. I’m busy too. But you’re busy with your own stuff, while I’m busy with everyone else’s stuff!”
A similar conversation occurs between a husband and wife. “Could you help me with the dishes?” she asks. “Sorry, dear, I’m busy right now,” he replies, while updating his Facebook status.
Reflecting on this, I’m ashamed to admit I too am often “too busy” to attend to the requests of those closest to me. My perspective is that I’m being forced to help them do something, rather than willingly serve them in love.
Someone made these insightful observations about the differences between a helper and a servant: A helper helps others when it’s convenient; a servant serves others even when it’s inconvenient. A helper helps when the work is enjoyable; a servant serves even when the work isn’t enjoyable.
The apostle Paul reminds us “to serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13). Why? Because saving faith always gives rise to love (Galatians 5:6), and love expresses itself in service. Love compels us to not “use [our] freedom to satisfy [our] sinful nature” but to love our neighbor as ourselves (Galatians 5:13-14)—desiring the very best for the other person as much as we would want it for ourselves. Love also prompts us not to use harsh words that destroy (Galatians 5:15).
My sister recently said, “Even while I’m pursuing my own interests and career, I know I need to help out more around the house.” That’s a concrete example of what it can mean to serve one another in love. May God work in us, providing what we need to serve others in love today!
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