“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery… For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” (Gal 5: 1, 13-15)
So, we are not “consumers” of one another. Other people, the Apostle is saying to me, are not to be seen by me “as an opportunity for the flesh.” They are, rather, an opportunity for service. “Through love,” he says, “be servants of one another.” This perspective, the perspective of the cross, liberates me from the bondage of self-seeking and neediness, which would have me go around in hungry circles, closed in on the “me” and never satisfied.
Today let me turn things around and ask the right questions, lest I “submit again to a yoke of slavery” to the self. This morning let me ask how I can better understand, rather than be better understood; Let me ask how I can serve, rather than how I can be served; And why or how I’ve neglected others, rather than why or how I’ve been neglected by “them.” Let me let Christ free me from dull and burdensome neediness, for the freedom of His self-offering way. His cross puts to rest the pointless questions of self, with its simple, liberating answer of humility.