Crab Bucket Living

Feb 20, 2014Claudia Mitchell

“You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:13-15)

Paul wrote this letter not to us, but certainly for us reminding us that we are called to freedom. He is very clear that Christian freedom is not the right to do what we want, but the power to do what we should. Freedom not filled with love soon descends into something very destructive. The emphasis on love is important because it is not the law that makes a difference, we cannot change human behavior through a system of laws. Laws can never change a heart. Christianity works because it changes people from the inside.

It was love that changed the world. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16.) When we are filled with the love of God it changes everything. True love, gives, moves to meet needs even at great personal cost. Someone defined narcissism as the “the inability to commit to anything beyond yourself.”

Paul gives a picture of what happens when we don’t love others. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (vs15) Have you ever seen a bucket full of crabs? They pinch and pull as they struggle to climb over one another to reach the top. My fishermen friends say you never have to put a lid on a crab bucket because they will never let each other get out! When one crab breaks away from the pack, reaching its pinchers toward the top of the bucket, the others promptly grab onto the escapee’s leg, pulling him back down. That crab is then pushed to the bottom of the pile and his dream of freedom is crushed. When we follow a religion of laws instead of life we become like a bunch of crabs practicing crab bucket living.