Galatians 5:13-15 – Love your Neighbor

Read Galatians 5:13-15

The freedom Paul talks about isn’t a commodity you can buy or earn. Freedom isn’t something you get to save for a rainy day. Rather, freedom is a gift from God that increases in value when you use it wisely and can be lost if you misuse or abuse it. This gift is ours because Jesus took on our humanity and sacrificed himself for us.

With all the talk of the law leading up to this short passage, I was surprised that Paul said this. “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” *emphasis added. While it is true that many of the commandments are focused on acting in ways that show our love for others, he is missing the other part of this. We need to love God with our whole heart as well. When we focus on loving God and others, we are living how God intends for us to live. We are thereby following the “law” because of our best practices in the love department.

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Matthew 7:1-6 – How Do You Handle Criticism?

Read Matthew 7:1-6

Jesus’ words are harsh at first — do not judge others, and you will not be judged. I’m sure we have all done it. Judge others that is. We may have thought “boy her dress is too short” or “why doesn’t he close his eyes when he prays?” or “what were they thinking?” or “why did they spend their money on that instead of giving to the church?” I could go on and on. You are probably already feeling a little guilty about something you thought about someone. We judge. We’re not supposed to.

Why not? Jesus says that we’ll be judged in the same manner. We certainly aren’t perfect. The standards we apply to others will be applied to us. God is the only one who should be judging. When we catch ourselves doing it, we should remember this passage. Jesus said, “do NOT judge!”

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