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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of December 21, 2020

The way you become free from sin is by becoming a slave to righteousness.

Paul, in one of the most quoted verses of Scripture, makes clear that every person has sinned: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Indeed, your sins hold you so deeply in bondage that they bring death to you: you were dead in your sins (Colossians 2:13).

Every one of us was born a slave to sin, but God offers to free us from that. How? We can choose to become slaves to righteousness: When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. ... But now ... you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God (Romans 6:20,22).

In other words, your default human nature is to follow sin and to consistently choose sin. The way you break free from sin is by following God and consistently choosing God; that is, you become a "slave" to God (to righteousness).

One of the results of being a "slave" to God is being made righteous and holy: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, when we are freed from bondage to sin by giving ourselves to Christ, a transaction occurs: we are changed from being sinners (i.e., slaves to sin who occasionally mess up and do something right) into being holy ones (i.e., righteous slaves to God who occasionally mess up and do something wrong).

When this transaction occurs—that is, when you become a slave to righteousness—you are made holy, made righteous, cleansed, forgiven, and freed from all sin. Therefore, the way you become free from sin is by becoming a holy one, which happens by turning your life over to Christ and wholeheartedly following Him, thus becoming a slave to righteousness.

Your level of living depends on your level of giving.

Conventional wisdom says that your life will be better if you keep everything you have for yourself. However, God clearly says that your life will be better if you work to make another person's life better.

In Galatians 6:7-9, Paul writes, Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

In other words, what you give to others will affect how they give to you; the amount of love, patience, and kindness that you show to others will affect the amount that they show to you. This principle of giving and receiving applies to many areas of life. For example, if you invest an hour a day into exercising, then you will reap the benefits of that investment—a strong, healthy body. However, if you invest that same time into flipping channels on T.V., then you will reap the benefits of that investment—a wasted hour.

Paul isn't just talking about money or time; in fact, he is focusing on giving into the lives of others. In the very next verse, Galatians 6:10, Paul instructs believers: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. If you "do good" to others by giving into their lives, then you will benefit.

So, if you don't feel like you're getting the love you should get, then maybe you should ask yourself if you're giving the love you should give. Why? Because you reap what you sow. If you give love, you'll receive love. If you give friendship, you'll receive friendship. If you give mercy, you'll receive mercy. (It is important to note that you may not always receive from the same place you give.)

Therefore, decide to give freely to others, actively look for ways to be a blessing to other people, and deliberately go out of your way to walk in love. Then, watch as the benefits of that giving affect your life. Remember, your level of living depends on your level of giving.