"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13
Each week this year our church bulletin has a verse that everyone is encouraged to commit to memory in the week ahead. We often review it as a family on the 20 minute drive to church the next Sunday. So this morning we were working on the verse above. I had so many thoughts about the depths of truth in that one verse that it was a little like drinking out of a fire hydrant.
But one thought piggy-backed off of my "Safe!" post earlier this week. As a mom, I find that I panic when my kids make bad choices (i.e. indulge their sinful nature), especially when they are unsafe or when they ignore me when I ask them to stop what they are doing. Sometimes I wonder why my emotions (and often my temper) escalate so fast when this happens. These are not usually my finest parenting moments. My knee-jerk response is to control the situation by tightening the reins and take away their freedom. While this seems perfectly justified, and may be a wise choice if executed well, I often regret it afterwards and wonder if there isn't a better way for them to learn to make better choices.
We are called to freedom. Freedom from the burden of our sin. Freedom from guilt and second guessing ourselves and the condemnation of God, and free to ignore the condemnation of others. Freedom TO serve and TO love without wondering if we're worthy (we're not, but that is all taken care of).
So how does God parent us when we use our freedom to indulge the sinful nature? I'm sure he doesn't panic and give us knee-jerk responses. What could I learn from His example? I need to process this, but, what do YOU think?