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Sunday, July 4, 2010

What is Freedom, Anyway?

I have never done a survey on what people think freedom is. However, I believe they would tell me that freedom is being able to do what you want to do. If that is the case, none of us is free.

We are not free to drive as fast as we would like. Nor are we free to avoid our taxes. We lack freedom in many things if freedom is doing whatever we want.

We have free speech. Freedom to own firearms. We are free to come and go as we please, engage in enterprise and own our own businesses. We are free to choose our own leadership.

Freedom is coming into harmony with truth. It is believing and acting consistently with our desires. It may mean that our desires must be changed in order to experience true freedom. In other words, our desire to drive really fast may have to come into line with the speed limit if we are to know real freedom. Otherwise, the speed limit will always represent restriction rather than freedom.

Actually, doing whatever we want whenever we want it will put us under great bondage. Buying whatever you want whenever you want it will restrict what you can purchase as real needs. Unrestricted spending, drinking, sexual activity or anything that we simply want will seriously affect our freedom. Following our urges and lusts will get us into real trouble. The kind of trouble that can get us arrested. This is the kind of trouble that will take away our freedoms.

The truly free person is in harmony with his world. He wants what he should have. His world and his desires are the same.

Yet, that is truly strange for us. We seem to struggle to get beyond what we should have. It started with Adam and Eve. It continues today. They were free until Satan told them they could have something better than God had for them.

Most people don't understand the true nature of freedom. They think that the type of freedom I espouse is the worst kind of bondage. Even many Christians fail to understand true freedom. They are trying to live a Christian life of rules and restrictions rather than freedom. Bondage is our manner of living the Christian life as long as we pick and choose our obedience. We will try to avoid as many restrictions as possible rather than realize the freedom that we have.

Now, I know that most people will never understand what I am about to write. They think that it takes a great effort to live the Christian life. That is bondage to me. The Christian life is not about my effort to follow the rules but about my willingness to give my life to Him. I don't need to live in restrictions. I need to allow Him to live through me.

Freedom is giving your life to Christ.

Matthew 10:39 (NIV)
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

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