True Freedom

5 07 2013

“There are two freedoms – the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.” – Charles Kingsley

The boy stomped his foot and cried. He didn’t want to go to bed, didn’t want to clean his room, didn’t want to stop playing, and didn’t want to eat his vegetables. “I can’t wait until I am all grown up and can do anything I want!” As a parent, I smiled at the scene playing out in front of me. Perspective is everything. Children imagine being an adult as the ultimate pinnacle of freedom. You don’t realize until you are an adult that children are the freest beings of all. As the enforcer behind the “don’t want to” group of requirements, I know that these things are for my son’s best. They aren’t heavy burdens laid on him in order to make his life miserable. They are designed to help him grow into a man who is strong, healthy, and capable.

This interplay between parent and child is a reflection of the struggle we have understanding the true meaning of freedom. The world tries to sell us an immature view of freedom. It promotes the idea that freedom is being able to do whatever you like, whenever you like, no matter what. If I feel like it, I should be free to do it. Many of our battles over rights and personal liberties are grounded in this determination to be independent and decide for ourselves.

True freedom takes a longer view. It isn’t as much about what feels good in the moment as in what will take me furthest over a lifetime. God wants you to experience this kind of freedom. He longs for you to grow into Christ-likeness, stretch your soul, embrace joy, and live in the overflow of His grace. True freedom is grounded in surrender, sacrifice, and trust. This kind of freedom isn’t about standing your ground and drawing lines in the sand. It is about learning to live life on your knees so that you can walk with hope through your day.

My Jesus Resolution today is to set my heart on desiring true freedom. The kind of freedom the world offers is an illusion. It looks good, but leaves me empty, broken, and soul-hungry. God’s kind of freedom opens up possibilities beyond my imagination and encourages me to live with courage in the light of His love. I don’t want to settle. I want to look like Jesus.


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