51For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
1) "...Christ has set us free;:" "...Stand firm;" "...do not submit again to a yoke of slavery;" "...fallen away from Grace;" "...the only thing that counts is faith working through love;" "...faith working through love;" "...the only thing that counts is faith working through love"
2) How easily am I pulled back into an old pattern of behaviour, one that I have given up? I am free without that pattern, but under stress, adversity, conflict, it is so easy to return to that pattern. "Stand firm." I even have friends who prefer the old pattern. It is as inconvenient to them as to me, learning a new set of practices. And the world gives lots of encouragement to return to the way things were, rather than embracing a new way of being. "The only thing that counts is faith working through love." I'm right. I want to prove I'm right. I want the person who has wronged me to admit that they've wronged me and that I'm right. But "the only thing that counts is faith working through love." I'm so hyper sensitive to enabling addictive/alienating/dysfunctional behaviour. What constitutes "standing firm"? What constitutes rigidly returning to old practices? And what constitutes receiving freedom? What response constitutes "faith working through love"? You can't hurt me that way any more? But I can't make you change. It's all in Christ's hands. "Christ has set us free."
3) What is the invitation in all this? To make "the only thing that counts is faith working through love" my mantra for the day, week, month... season...
"Christ set us free."
Breathprayer: "Faith... Working through Love."