Thursday, November 17, 2011

freedom with purpose

What is freedom without discipline? This question is a very important one that we must ask ourselves. As a nation that prides itself on freedom such as speech, bearing arms, and others, we have freely exercised our rights without wondering if there are any consequences to undisciplined freedoms.

We have lifted up “freedom” as the utmost virtue that needs to be protected. Freedom is good, but is it the most valuable national characteristic we have? Cannot freedom without responsibility lead to chaos? If we exercise our right to bear arms with no restraint does that make our society a better one? And if we practice free speech without listening to others does that make us a superior civilization?

Can you imagine a child boldly claiming his or her right to free speech, whenever, and whatever it may be? Would a good parent allow their children to speak anything at anytime? Does not a good parent teach restraint, discipline, and discernment in utilizing a great freedom?

Certainly good parents teach their children when to use their freedoms appropriately. If this is true, then we are a nation without parents. We practice our freedoms without any discernment or concern for health and wellbeing for ourselves or others. We spend over 30 hours a week on television because we have the freedom to do so. We drink our weekends, and sometime our weekdays away because we have freedom. We send our children to computers to be raised by the internet because we are free to raise our children in any way we choose, and we sue every time someone has hurt our feelings because we are free. We are unrestrained children without discipline, raised to be spoiled and unproductive.

Freedom is good, Christ Jesus came to set us free (John 8:22), however, we do not realize that freedom always belongs to someone. We may be free, but the exercise of our freedom has a possessor. If we give our freedom to ourselves, we make ourselves open to do whatever we feel like doing for our own benefit. If we give our freedom to our family and friends, than we choose actions that bring joy and assistance to our small community. If we give our freedom to our country, than we make our choices freely in ways that improve, grow, and defend our country. Our freedom must have a possessor, a purpose; otherwise freedom becomes dangerous and undesirable.

We are told that because Christ died for us, and set us free, the exercise of our freedom belongs to God. What does this look like? It means we freely crucify all harmful desires (Galatians 5:24). We become free to choose to serve Christ. This is what true freedom looks like. We abandon everything that leads away from Christ because we are free to choose so. True freedom has a purpose, a possessor, a life giving quality that can only be met through the creator of freedom itself, Jesus the Savior. We must choose to freely serve the Redeemer Son of God, any other freedom is only a lie. Other freedoms lead only to addictions, violence, and death. Choosing the cross is the only true freedom we have.

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