If you’ve fallen behind or are just joining us in our study of Galatians, let me catch you up to speed.
In chapter one, we saw that Paul admonished the Galatians to examine who they are seeking to please, God or man? Are we willing to stand alone when the time comes? Are we willing to do right even in the face of adversity?
In chapter two, we looked deeper at how to be a good influence. We saw how Peter became more concerned with what others thought of him and how that caused others to follow his example. It is so important to live out what we believe, in private and in public.
Then in chapter three, we talked about 6 concrete ways to grow your faith. We need to be growing, learning and drawing closer to God. When you feel like you have no faith left, there is hope! Be sure to check out that post to keep growing in your faith.
And just last week, we hit on the touchy subject of speaking the truth in love and why it is so important for our relationships to flourish. We need to have both grace and truth when we need to have a serious discussion with others. This post will give you the tools that you need in doing just that!
That brings us to chapter 5 this week. Today I felt the Lord leading to me to verses 13 and 14.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Galatians 5:13-14
Paul tells us that while we do have liberty in Christ, we need to use that liberty for the good of loving others well and not for our own fleshly desires.
Loving others well can be quite the challenge for people. We are sinful creatures full of pride. People are seeking their own happiness while not being focused on the needs of others.
Yet so many people today feel empty, they struggle with depression and are critical of everyone and everything around them. And caught in the comparison trap all too often.
If we took the time to take our eyes off ourselves, we could see the path to true happiness and joy in life. It doesn’t come from increasing your self-esteem or keeping up with the Jones’ next door.
Loving Others by Losing Yourself
Kick the critical spirit to the curb!
This has got to be the first thing you do. Being critical makes you judge everyone and every circumstance around you. It will hold you back from loving others well.
Being critical will have you negatively judging people before you even give them a chance.
Ask the Lord to help you kick this spirit to the curb!
There it is. Pretty simple. Yet so important.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3
Pray for others.
When you love others well, you will be praying for them.
Their needs become important to you.
You will rejoice when they rejoice and mourn when they mourn.
You will become invested in their lives.
If you have a conflict with someone, pray for them. This is when God softens your heart towards them.
Look for ways to bless others.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus. He uses us to help others, to show His love to the lost world, to meet needs and to serve those around us.
You can love others well even if you don’t have a lot of extra time or resources.
You can send someone an encouraging card in the mail or a simple text, offer to babysit for free, or by bring a meal to someone in need.
You can take the time to talk to the older people in your church or the shy visitor in the corner. Being compassionate goes a long way!
Maybe there is a ministry in your church that you can serve in. Serving is a fantastic way to be a blessing to people.
Live out the fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
When we are growing in each of these areas we are loving others above ourselves.
To be meek and self-controlled in the midst of a struggle blesses those around you.
Pick one or two and work on them every day. Once they become natural for you, add another. We aren’t super women here, we can’t do it all or all at once-this sets ourselves up for failure straight from the start.
Loving others well takes us losing ourselves in the process. Loving others well takes practice, it stretches us past our comfort zones and will eventually become a natural thing that we do. I hope you’re encouraged today to love others well in your life!
Your turn! How do you love others well? What did you get out of Galatians chapter 5 this week? I’d love to hear!
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