There is a lot of talk about freedom this week. The dictionary defines freedom as “The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.”
Our lives, especially here in the United States, are a blank canvas. Each of us is an artist, applying brush strokes with our choices.
The founding fathers laid out the most important protections we have for our freedom in the Bill of Rights. Yet, sadly, few people will ever take the time to learn about those freedoms.
Yes, we have the freedom of choice. We can eat what we want, drink what we want, stay up late or go to bed early. We can choose our friends and our occupation. We can live in any city we choose, and work hard or take it easy.
In my life, I’ve found that the more I adhere to the things that are good for me, the more freedom I have to live life to the fullest. It sounds counter-intuitive that self-control leads to more freedom – because self-control is restricting – but once you dig deeper you may begin to see it this way too.
Let’s get back to our founding fathers and the Bill of Rights. Take for example the first amendment.
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of religion. One of the reasons I rejected Christianity for many years was that I felt living a Christian life would restrict me in too many ways. I wanted the freedom to make my own choices, I did not want to be told how to live my life.
It turns out I was wrong, and it could not be further from the truth. Seeking to follow God’s plan for my life instead of my own has freed me. The talents I have were given to me by him, after all. By using my gifts and talents to serve God instead of myself, I have begun to see a much broader picture of life. Before, I was all that mattered. Every decision was based on my desires. I was a slave to myself and to sin.
I had limited knowledge of what I believed a Christian life was about, until I dug deeper. When I began reading the Bible, it opened up my heart and changed my life in many ways. Before, I never gave much thought to other’s feelings or the effects of my actions on those around me. Now I know that my actions always impact others. I was alone, without a moral compass. Today I don’t live for myself.
This has been my journey. I’m thankful for the country I live in and the freedom to find my way to this point.
I believe that Jesus has set me free from my past, he has forgiven me for my sins and given me a fresh start. A chance to live life differently. Christianity is a religion, but it is so much more than that. It is a relationship with our creator.
We all enjoy great freedom in America, thanks to our Founding Fathers. We are free to make of our lives what we want. Why waste it? It is time for all of us to make the most of life.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
1 Peter 2:16
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.