What is Freedom?
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." - Galatians 5:1
The idea of "freedom" is a tricky one. The truth is, our ability to comprehend true freedom is severely restricted by the fact that most of us have never experienced it.
When we were kids, that first time we could ride our bikes somewhere without our parents felt like freedom.
When we turned 16 and we drove our friends somewhere without an adult, we experienced freedom unlike anything else.
When we went to college and/or lived on our own for the first time...we were free to do our own thing when we wanted to.
Many people start a business or work their way up in a company to experience more freedom in their schedule or finances.
But the truth is...None of that is real freedom.
On the 4th of July and other patriotic holidays, we celebrate the freedom that we have as Americans, and as Americans we have far more freedoms than most. At All Things New, we have kids from the age of 7 to the age of 18, and they will never experience the same freedom that my 5-year-old has already experienced simply from living in America. Freedom does not mean the same thing here that it does in Haiti.
As Americans, we talk about the ultimate sacrifice that people paid for our freedom and we shoot off fireworks and eat barbecue and watermelon, and all because...We are free.
The funny thing is that we only set off fireworks because some states allow it.
We only grill if we live in a home that allows it (unlike many apartments).
We love our freedom of speech, but do not yell out "fire" in a crowded restaurant or post something on Facebook that your company doesn't like.
We love the freedom to drive wherever we want...As long as we go the speed limit.
Topics like gun ownership, abortions, marriage rights, religious expression, etc. all boil down to the idea of freedom, but only when that freedom is granted and only if we follow certain social norms that allow that freedom to remain unimpeded.
It is with all of these preconceived notions that we view Galatians 5:1, and it is all of these preconceived notions that make us miss the true beauty of true freedom in Christ.
We are so used to living in oppression dressed up like freedom and telling everyone we are free. Freedom in Christ is not following certain rules, sitting in certain seats, and singing certain songs. Freedom in Christ is being free for the sake of being free. It is being able to do what we want when we want.
Galatians 5:1 calls us to love and enjoy freedom for the sake of freedom. Even in our relationship with Jesus, we trap and oppress ourselves to the point that we miss the very freedom and joy that we were given.
We get bogged down in trying to follow our idea of God's will rather than enjoying the freedom of His love. Where should we work, who should we marry, where should we go to school, how we should talk, and a myriad of other decisions every day.
The freedom that Christ gives