So You Think This Is Freedom?

18 11 2011

With permission, I am printing Mike’s thoughts:

The world that we live in has forces that pull at us. There is no neutral; we are pulled either towards God’s good ways or away from God’s good ways, and it all seems to come down to what a person does with their desire for and perception of freedom; we have “anti-authority” tendencies where we  conclude that authority is a freedom stealer so we push against authority. This applies to people in all walks of life, from the toddler to the hard-hearted Senior, who both shake their fists at anyone who might tell them what to do. This is why people shake their fist at God, the God they often say they don’t believe in, because they see Him as an authority figure who wants to take their freedom away.

Yet, with all this so called “freedom,” what actually results is a life of debauchery. 2 Peter 2:18-19 says, “There are those who call out to others, promising freedom — yet they themselves are enslaved in their life of debauchery.”

Debauchery = reckless immorality, lust for pleasure and seeking it out.

What we often miss is that this kind of “freedom” without borders, has its own cage. What feels like freedom, is actually enslaving us. Freedom, true freedom, comes by limiting our freedom; an idea we struggle with.

  • If we were to eat only junk-food (because we have the freedom to do so) we end up enslaving our bodies strength and health.
  • If we were to spend all our money as we wished (because we have the freedom to do so) we become a slave to those items with a bank-load of debt.
  • If we decide to take our sexuality outside of marriage (because we have the freedom to do so) we end up entangled instead, forever a slave to our bad choices, instead of free.

In each of these situations, what starts out as exercising freedom, results in enslavement; but this is a tough sell to people who don’t want to eat vegetables; to those who don’t want to live by a budget; to those who want to play loose.

Why should we let anyone limit our freedom? Adam and Eve sure didn’t want it. God wanted Adam & Eve to experience full freedom, but to achieve this, He had to limit what they could do within that garden setting. Parents desire their children to experience full freedom, but to achieve this, they actually have to say no to certain things and to hold their children back from activities that look like freedom, but put them in danger.

True freedom comes by saying no to other freedoms. True intimacy in relationships both with God and other people, comes by saying no to freedoms that actually steal intimacy but we so often cannot see this. We are pulled, fooled, by what looks like it must be better than what is being “imposed” on us by guardians in our life.

The voice that screams the loudest is always the voice of debauchery. It is uncouth, it has no manners, it butts into line, it lies. True freedom always shows all of its colors, but it waits. True freedom knows that the lie usually has to be exposed, usually people have to run into a wall, before they will compare what they have with what the could have.

This is the sad thing about people. We are so determined to throw off anything that seems restrictive that we don’t even realize that we have now become fair game to an enemy who has been standing by to steal our soul. It isn’t freedom we end up getting; it is actually the way that leads to tears and regret, poison and prison, fear and anxiety, uncertainty and the death instead of abundant life.

Living simply for one’s own pleasure only sounds good in the beginning.

— Adapted from Michael Klassen’s journal — Teresa Klassen

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