You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
1. Fulfill the Whole Law
Gal 5 But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Neighbor in this context does not only mean the people we like. In old testament times the word neighbor was used in the context of the Israelites. Jesus expanded His definition with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
2. Compare the List
Paul composes 2 list here in Galatians 5. A list of what the flesh produces and a separate list of what the Spirit produces. They are dramatically different from each other. We must be aware of God’s expectations for our lives. He has provided them to us through His Word and we have the responsibility of assessment and application
3. Take an honest assessment
Look at the specific areas of your life.
The worst thing I could do at this point is not be honest with myself. If it’s not good it’s just not good.
Psalm 141:5 5 Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it,
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Get an honest assessment from others. Let someone else evaluate you. Your wife, kids, coworkers, friends.
4. Apply the fix
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
This is where the cost assessment always comes in. The best will always cost you more. So we settle for a decent marriage instead of a great one. We settle for a life of struggle with finances instead of a life of generosity. Never let the cost keep you from the solution. Get help.
Application is what changes you. Knowledge without application is useless facts. Become great at applying God’s word and you will experience the full life.