What Freedom Is Not

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Over time, people have lived with a false (very subjective) interpretation of what freedom is. Everyone wants to be free, even at the detriment of their neighbor. However, the truth is freedom is the ability to exercise your will within your rights without the threat of force from anyone else. And no matter how the modern world has contoured the definition of freedom, it can never hide the fact that true freedom only comes from God. With that being said, it is still important to highlight what the topic of discussion IS NOT.

Freedom is NOT a permit to act however you want. As much as we have many freedoms as humans, it doesn’t mean we should disregard laws that guide us. Hence, our freedom is to be used responsibly and for good purpose. For example, the “freedom of speech” doesn’t mean we get to slander or threaten others. The same is true in our Christian walk. We have been set free from the Law that brought death and gave sin its power, but that doesn’t mean we get to walk around sinning. Just like this great land we live in, our freedom from sin was paid for with blood and it isn’t a freedom we should ever take for granted or misuse.

Freedom is NOT about entitlement or happiness. Unfortunately, there are many who allow their feelings of entitlement to dictate how they live and treat others; such people think that they are free to feel entitled, consequently causing those around them discomfort. Meanwhile the word “entitled” just means that we’ve been given the right to something or that we have been given a title that grants us a specific privilege and the problem with this is that people most often feel entitled to things (or people’s love or approval) that they shouldn’t entitled to. Freedom is NOT and shouldn’t be built on one’s wants (or greedy desires as the case may be).

There have been many attempts to destroy the word freedom when in fact, true freedom only exists in healthy, intimate relationships with both God and our neighbors. The free and abundant life Jesus offers us can only be experienced through committed relationships, rooted and grown in God’s intended design. True freedom has nothing to do with financial circumstances, physical appearances, or the likes. If our happiness or interpretation of freedom is tied to earthly things then we are simply slaves to our desires and slavery is completely antonymous to freedom.  

God invites each one of us to the freedom that comes from binding our lives to His purpose for us and loving other people in relationship. This is the only path to experiencing the rich life Jesus wants us to live.

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