Countries fight for it. People are willing to die for it.
Freedom is the fundamental right that’s been given to us by God. It is the freedom to choose. Freedom, however, is thrown around these days, with many preconceived notions that are often misunderstood or sometimes outright inaccurate.
The world’s definition of freedom is the ability and choice to do whatever one desires. Take freedom of speech: you can say whatever you want, whenever you want. But many people think that God’s freedom is less than this. The truth is far more complex than the word lets on.
The Declaration of Independence proudly states:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
The freedom that we call hold dear is said to have been endowed by our Creator and are unalienable. But today, I think many people have a very limited view of what freedom really means. The writers of the Declaration of Independence knew how important these rights and freedoms are…to the point that they should right them down. But today, their writings have come under intense scrutiny, with many courts deciding how they should be interpreted. But perhaps the freedom that God has promised is much more similar than what we’ve made it to be.
When I was a college student, I had a horrible time managing my money. I was up to my eyeballs in debt. I wasn’t making much money, but I wanted to buy lots of stuff. That’s when a friend taught me how to budget my money. Honestly, it was incredibly frustrating. I felt like I couldn’t buy what I wanted anymore because I could only spend inside my budget. But to accomplish this, I had to keep track of every penny I spent. But after about 6 months, My attitude began to shift from frustration to liberation. I no longer felt like I was being restricted. It was actually the opposite. I felt free!
It may sound confusing because you would think restrictions on how I spent my money would have felt, well, restricting. Isn’t the very definition of freedom to do whatever you want?
This is where I began to understand God’s definition of freedom. See, I didn’t feel free to because I was restricted in my finances. I felt free because I no longer spent wildly without caring about my bills. I controlled my spending, instead of the other way around. I now know exactly how much money I can spend and if I can afford something I want. No longer was I going further into debt. I was, and still am, making my way out.
This kind of freedom has allowed me to purchase a house! It has allowed me to spend more money because I’m not buying stupid stuff. It doesn’t feel confining like it used to.
This freedom is the freedom that God wants for ALL of us. I think many of us look at the Bible and see it as a way to just stop all of us from having fun; the reality is that Bible offers a freedom that one only experiences once you go all-in. I wouldn’t have learned how to save money if I only tried out budgeting for a week. I wouldn’t have learned why sex before marriage is damaging to future relationships. I wouldn’t have learned why being a Christian doesn’t stop you from enjoying life. Being a Christian, living a God-filled life, compels you to live life to the fullest because you know where the lines are. It’s not about getting as close to the line as possible without crossing it. Friends, that’s legalism. I’m talking about just going forward and seeing what God has to offer beyond the confines of the Bible, to live in the world without being "super-spiritual".
All of the sudden, freedom isn’t about doing whatever you want. No. Freedom is about know what you can do and doing it with all abandon. This is the freedom I know.
Do you know it?