Thursday, March 30, 2017

Real Freedom Requires Hard Choices

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Eleanor Roosevelt once said Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being.  With freedom comes responsibility.  For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.  These words ring true with Christians as well.  We have been set free with the freedom Christ gave us but, we have a responsibility to make the right choice, and sometimes the right choice is the hard choice.  For the Christian that is unwilling to accept the responsibility that goes with the freedom, it should be a frightening prospect.
I am free to do whatever I please ... and responsible for whatever it is I choose. God's desire and design is that I use it to live and act in Christ.  As many young people know, sometimes making the choice to live and act in Christ is not always the choice that will gain you popularity or friends.  But if your “friends” are not your friends if you choose not to do something because of your Christian values, then they are not really your “friends”, are they?
In this world, everything to which we may become attached requires that we sacrifice our freedom.  That's certainly true of government, which taxes our paychecks, and passes laws that circumscribe our very comings and goings.  That's certainly true of fact taking on the responsibilities of a family requires perhaps a larger sacrifice of one’s freedom than almost anything I know.  Not to mention the freedoms that we sacrifice to much lesser things, like houses and cars and furniture, and all those possessions that end up taking possession of us. The numbers of people enslaved to debt, alcohol or other drugs, work, power, pornography, fame, electronics, shopping, the most and the latest; and endless other addictions show the power of poor use of our freedom.  You were once free and then you made a commitment to a job, to a marriage, to have children, to buy a house, own a boat, get a car and then responsibility for these things claimed your life.
Some are even slaves of religion and never experience the freedom Christ came to give.  That is the purpose of Paul’s writing.  Of all the freedoms that we lose because we can’t handle freedom, this is the most tragic.  When a believer chooses to follow Christ, it is not to be bound, but free.  The great paradox of the Christian faith is the freedom we find in servitude to Him.  For Jesus makes it clear that He came to set men free.  Freedom in Christ comes by only having one Lord and not being consumed with multiple lords.
Every commitment we have made limits the next decision we will make in our lives.  Every choice has consequences, though, and sometimes in making one choice, one decision, you find that once you are on the other side of that decision, once it is in the past and the decision made, you are now limited in what choices you are free to make next.
We are free to choose, but those choices have long-term consequences.  That's why Jesus said, "Count the cost."

Scripture to Claim:
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[b] of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

Devotional Archive