Freedom matters. It matters partly because it’s seldom free of cost. If we haven’t earned it ourselves, someone else has earned it for us. The freedom that particularly matters to Paul is the freedom from Law as a way of salvation, dividing us into in and out of God’s people. It was earned for us by Christ, at the cost of his own life. It matters, and we must not give it up by trying to earn our own way into God’s good books.
But freedom from Law doesn’t mean anything goes. (5:13-14). The freedom that Christ has bought for us is the freedom to love and serve one another. In a way, it’s the freedom to go beyond the demands of the Law, through love becoming slaves to one another.
This isn’t a call to accept being enslaved by another, however much we may love them. That way lies abuse of all kinds. This is a call freely to choose to serve the good of others, with the control of that service remaining between our self and God – not the one we serve. We remain free, because freedom matters.
So don’t let anyone impose on you a demand to serve according to their agenda. Work out between yourself and God what it means to serve in love, and choose that wholeheartedly.
In doing that, you’ll probably find that the beautiful fruits of the Spirit in 5:22-23 begin to grow and mature more fully in your life. May that be so!