Serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
In the chaos of fleeing his home during the California wildfires of 2018, Gabe, a high school senior, missed the state-qualifying cross-country race for which he’d been training. Missing this meet meant he wouldn’t have the chance to compete at the state meet—the culminating event of his four-year running career. In light of the circumstances, the state athletics board gave Gabe another chance: he’d have to run a qualifying time by himself, on a rival high school’s track, in “street shoes” because his running shoes were in the charred rubble of his home. When he showed up to “race,” Gabe was surprised by his competitors who’d come to supply him with proper shoes and to run alongside him to ensure he kept the pace necessary to be entered in the state meet.
Gabe’s opponents had no obligation to help him. They could have given into their natural desires to look out for themselves (Galatians 5:13); doing so might have improved their own odds of winning. But Paul urges us to display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives—to “serve one another humbly in love” and to demonstrate “kindness” and “goodness” (vv. 13, 22). When we lean on the Spirit to help us not act on our natural instincts, we’re better able to love those around us.
How are you showing the “fruit of the Spirit” in the way you treat others? How can you better love your “neighbor”?
Dear God, my natural desire is to look out for myself. Help me to serve others out of love for You.
We’re all born with a sinful nature inherited from Adam (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12, 14), but those who place their trust in Jesus for salvation are “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8) and receive a new nature (1:13; Titus 3:5). This new “divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) is “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). In Galatians 5, Paul warns that our flesh (sinful habits) continues to oppose the indwelling Spirit (v. 17). To “put to death” our earthly nature (Colossians 3:5), we must walk and live by the Spirit, keeping in step with Him as He leads and directs us (Galatians 5:16, 18, 25).