“Freedom!” William Wallace yells as endures torture in his quest to bring liberty to Scotland. I watch that scene from Braveheart and ask myself, “What is freedom worth?”
Why is freedom worth giving your life for?
And, of course: What is freedom anyway?
What does it mean to be free?
We often think of freedom as the absence of something: no slavery, no debt, no obligations, no responsibilities.
Instead, let's look at Freedom from another angle: "Freedom to..."
When the Founding Fathers spoke of inalienable rights, they were speaking of rights that God has given to men: the freedom to have our own opinions and talk about them, the freedom to worship, the freedom to protect ourselves, the freedom to pursue happiness.
If government refuses to acknowledge those rights, they will be sinning against the Lord. The Founding Fathers set up a government to protect the rights of human beings to make their own choices and face their own consequences.
As believers in Jesus, we have even greater freedoms.
“It is for freedom you have been set free! Therefore keep standing firm, and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NASB)
The Lord set us free so that we can experience freedom 24/7 all the days of our lives.
Right away my Bible also tells me that you can lose your freedom. When I read Galatians 5:1, I get a picture of a soldier standing at attention protecting something valuable. He is holding a weapon.
If we are not standing firm at attention, our freedom can slip away and we may not even know we have lost it.
We can be in bondage to debt, anger, doubts, loneliness, oppression, fear, dysfunctional relationships, sexual immorality, or people's opinion of us.
I don't think any us us want to stay in bondage.
Instead, we need to take a deep breath and stand firm. We have been set free! Will we guard that freedom or will we allow the enemy of our souls to trick us into bondage again.
Let's enjoy the freedom Jesus has brought us into: freedom to love, be loved, give, receive, relax, enjoy our lives, enjoy the people in our lives, to make a difference, to share the Gospel, to make disciples, to live a holy life, and to enjoy sweet fellowship with Jesus.
The choice is ours!
This Fourth of July, as we celebrate the God-given freedoms our nation protects, let's also rejoice in the freedom Christ has purchased for us on the cross.
Like our national freedom, our spiritual freedom was purchased at a great cost to human life. Zealously guard it.
“It is for freedom you have been set free!” (Galatians 5:1)