Thursday, August 14, 2008

Choices and Freedom

There are certain choices that we can make that will either help us live a life of freedom, or will take freedom from us. For example if you decided to murder someone, that choice will rob you of freedom. Even if you got away with it, and didn’t have to spend the rest of your life behind bars, the guilt of the deed and the constant fear of being caught would hamper your ability to enjoy being on the outside of those prison bars.

Our choices have consequences and those choices will either help or hinder our freedom. The choice of using credit to furnish a lifestyle way above your means will mean that you will be enslaved to credits. Because your money is going to pay interest, you will not be able to afford to do other things, without going deeper in debt. Your freedom is hindered by the choice that you made.

The choices we make will either bring us greater levels of freedom or restrict our freedom. There are many choices that we can freely make that will end up taking our freedom away. Our freedom and our choices are eternally connected. Erwin McManus wrote:
“Not all free acts lead to freedom. The choices you freely make may cost you a life of genuine freedom. This is why the Bible talks about the human experience in terms of being slaves to sin. Sin creates the illusion of freedom; it fools us into seeking freedom from God rather than finding freedom in God.

“Whatever else Jesus came to do, one thing is clear—He came to set you free. God is not a warden; He is a deliverer. And so earnest is He about your freedom that He was willing to be taken captive and crucified on your behalf just so you can run free.” (Stand Against the Wind; p. 14)

If we are going to be free we have to make those choices that bring and enhance the freedom in our lives. That means we are looking towards the future and not just at the moment. That means we realize that our choices have consequences, and that a life lived apart from Jesus Christ is a life that is devoid of freedom.

We can choose to follow Jesus and discover freedom, or we can choose to sin and discover slavery. This is what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans:
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. (Romans 6:15-20; NET)

The follower of Jesus is free because he/she has given themselves over to the way really live life. It is the right way to live. A person who is righteous is like a jazz improviser. He/she has learned the chords and studied the music that they understand where the music is going. When they go off on their own they stay true to the music. The jazz improviser has freedom to improvise because he/she has been a slave to the music.

The person who is a slave of righteousness is able to live with freedom because they have come to understand what life is about and where life is heading. With those things in mind a great many things in life opens up to them, but those things are only possible because first they choose to do what was right.

  • Point to Ponder: Our choices and freedoms are eternally connected.
  • Passage to Remember: Romans 6:15-20
  • Question to Consider: Who is your master?

No comments:

Accept the Differences

Most of us understand that people are different and those differences are a good thing. The world would be a boring place if everyone beli...