February 18, 2021
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Love, our expression of faith to God, cannot co-exist with selfish ambition or disregard for others. Our simultaneous need for others and desire to act only in self-interest are the twisted desires of the spirit for fellowship and community. The flesh craves attention and praise where the spirit craves equality and service to others. The desires of the spirit do not come naturally to us. Our relationships with others are based on and dictated by the laws of our country, expectations of our society, and the weight of cultural traditions. We teach children how to behave because our inclination is towards selfishness and violence. But through God’s intervention, we are no longer slaves to those laws. Not because we are free to break whatever rule we want, rather the spirit desires for us to to act in a way that honors God and each other.
When we remember that we are free to serve, service can bring us joy. We are no longer compelled to treat each other well because society expects us to but because our spiritual selves long to bring each other joy. We don’t have to tolerate those who don’t share our beliefs out of a grudging tolerance; instead we love others as our way of serving God. The flesh is controlled by laws. In our freedom, we are free to love selflessly.