Published on
October 30, 2023

Galatians 5

“For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love...”

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Galatians 5
“For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Galatians 5:13-14 (HCSB)

Beginning on Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Eve, an elderly man handed out $20 bills to strangers.  He became known as the “Secret Santa.”  Over the next 30 years, “Secret Santa” gave away almost 2 million dollars.  

A few years ago, his identity was revealed.  In a twist of tragic irony, the “Secret Santa” who had helped so many was himself in need of benevolence.  He needed a kidney transplant and didn’t have enough money to pay for it.

For the cynics, this story is confirmation of how idiotic philanthropy is.  They say giving money without personal accountability or getting a tax deduction is terrible stewardship.  Skeptics would say people should only work their way out of poverty.  They would even say benevolence should only be left to professionals.

The cynics will no doubt fail to recognize how people worldwide rallied to pay for “Secret Santa’s” operation.  So much money poured in that a fund has been set up to spend the excess.  As a result, “Secret Santa” will end up giving more out of poverty than when he was rich!

“When that year was over, they (Egyptians) came the next year and said to him (Joseph), ‘We cannot hide from our lord that the money is gone and that all our livestock belongs to our lord.  There is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land.  Why should we die here in front of you – both us and our land?’”  Genesis 47:18-19a (HCSB)

As in the days of Joseph’s leadership in Egypt, people in America are selling themselves into bondage.  They are enslaved to credit card and mortgage companies.  America’s insatiable desire for “self” has driven it into slavery…even government shutdowns at the Federal level!  The average American household maintains over $12,000 in credit card debt.  Most of us can’t afford to give to the poor, even if we wanted to.

It reminds me of today’s passage.  Compared to the World economy, most of America’s “impoverished” still possess considerable disposable wealth.  God has blessed us with spiritual and financial wealth, not to waste it all on ourselves but to invest it in His Kingdom.  When we use our freedom to satisfy ourselves, we become slaves to our desires.  But if we love our neighbors as ourselves, the Lord (Who sees what is done in secret) will bless the faithful.

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