Saturday, 04 December 2021

Freedom is liberty but use it wisely

“FREEDOM DAY” was the name given to Monday this week, as it was the day that many legal restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic were removed.

How do you feel about this freedom? Many have been longing for it for months. Perhaps you say, “It’s about time too.”

You want the government to reduce its control on people’s lives. You want freedom. Or perhaps you’re more cautious. You’re worried about the impact that giving people such freedom might have.

What is freedom? In this context, one person’s idea of freedom is to have the liberty to take responsible decisions for themselves, but another person’s idea of freedom might be to have the liberty to do whatever they want, regardless of the impact on themselves and others. Such freedom can be dangerous.

The Christian message is a message of freedom, but it’s not a message of freedom to do whatever you want.

In fact, the Bible speaks of those who are determined to live according to their own desires as being, not free, but slaves, “slaves to various passions and pleasures”.

If we struggle to cope when we have to refrain from particular activities, that indicates that we have been enslaved by those things.

Maybe you’ve experienced that in your life. You’ve pursued your own desires, but found that things that once you chose freely to do have enslaved you. You’ve become addicted to those things and you can’t escape. Or, perhaps you wouldn’t recognise that you have an addiction to any specific thing.

But the last year or so has been hard for you because you haven’t been able to simply do what you want. Deep down, you have become addicted to getting your own way.

The message of the Bible is one of freedom from that selfish pursuit of our own desires of which we are all so often guilty. That freedom comes through Jesus Christ, the son of God, who was born as a human being. Jesus Christ died and rose again.

And those who will trust Him and be joined to Him know what it is to die to their old self, which pursued its own desires, and to come to know new life, free to live for God in the way that He intended. And in that, in the life that comes from Jesus Christ, is true freedom.

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