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. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:13-14
I am a history buff (as if my readers didn’t know that), and I look at “Today in History” on some internet sites occasionally. Today, June 25, is the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Yes, it was a war, despite President Truman’s insistence on calling it a “police action”. It had been too soon since World War II had ended, so it was not a “war”, but a “police action”. Whatever it was, it was a bloody and costly conflict, and over 35,000 soldiers lost their lives in it. To add insult to injury, the public seemingly tried to act as if the war was non-existent, and the combatants never received the support they deserved for this deadly precursor to a war that brewed up just over a decade later.
There is always a price for freedom- it comes at a cost. We tend to take for granted, or take advantage of, things that are given to us- things we did not pay for.
Jesus died to give us freedom from sin, and Paul reminded us that there is nothing that we can do to add to the complete cost that has been paid for our redemption. Our freedom from sin was paid at a very high cost. We also tend to devalue that for which we do not pay. Salvation is a gift, but there is an expectation that comes with this gift- we are to treat others with the same love that purchased our freedom. If we do not understand that the reason Jesus died for our sins was that he loved us so much, then we will not be able to pay that forward to others as is expected of us.
If we devalue the gift of salvation we may tend to feel that we have certain entitlements. We have freedom, but we do not have license. Our response to the gift of salvation must be to love one another, and not to use our gift selfishly to indulge our sinful, pleasure-seeking nature.
If we indeed choose the course of following Jesus, we have signed up for a life of loving others, serving them, and modeling the love of God without judgment. Jesus said that his burden is easy and his yoke is light, and it is true. Loving others then, when we see them in the light that God sees them, becomes a real possibility. God has given us the mission to be His models of love to others. So, there is a cost to the freedom we have been given- it is to love others as God has loved us.
By the way, this day in history also included the birth of my dear daughter, Jennifer. Happy Birthday, Jen, I love you!
Prayer: Father, your plan is at once simple and complicated. Thank you for the amazing plan that we are to have the real significance of being your representatives on earth. Help us to do it well, Amen.