What is freedom?
This is a difficult question to ask because there may be as many answers as are people on this big blue planet. What does it mean to be free? Some people think that it has to do with being financially free, others feel that freedom is liberation from an oppressive regime. I want to put forward an entirely different thesis.
Freedom is making a choice to be free regardless of the circumstances of life. How many people do you know that allow themselves to be a victim to life’s misfortune? They almost seem to look for misfortune, as if to confirm their lack of freedom. They can be heard to say “It’s all the governments fault” or, “I’m just working class, I don’t have much and live in poverty”. Even rich people lack a sense of freedom, sure they have all the trappings of the world, but seldom find fulfilment and freedom in the acquisition of money and earthly riches. They are victims of their own perceived financial success.
I want to suggest that lack of freedom is completely confined to the poverty of ones mind. So many people in this world are completely confined to this malaise of self doubt and self centerdness that they fail to see a world of opportunity sitting right in from of them.
Opportunities come and go, but it is the ability to seize an opportunity and make use of it that gives an individual power over the circumstances of life. What kinds of opportunity am I talking about? While financial opportunity may be the first to come to mind, it is by no means the answer to the question. Financial success in life is Mearly an outcome of a successful life, it is not a means to happiness or freedom or success.
I believe that freedom comes from fulfilling the two great commands that Jesus outlined to His disciples. “Love God with all your heart” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
By loving God with all your heart you desire to do all things according to His will and Purpose. This means putting Him first in every part of your life and by not allowing the worries and concerns of this world push you around.
Secondly, “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” doesn’t mean figuring out the least you can do for someone and doing it with a begrudging heart, but looking carefully at yourself and deciding how you would want to be treated in their situation. This means caring for someone in need, looking after the interests of someone more needy than yourself and lifting them up.
As it says in James Chapter 1 in the NIV version of the bible:
Verse 27: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Freedom is about looking past the selfishness of our own existence and personal sustenance to the worship of God in all parts of our life. Whether it be financial, giving an encouraging word, making to most of ideas inspired by the spirit to advance the Kingdom of God or simply giving someone some quality time or a hug, God’s desire is for us to be people of influence.
So many times in life we see people attempting to be happy through their own effort and fulfilment of selfish desires. I don’t believe this is the way to freedom. I don’t believe we can ever be free when we are shackled to the things of this world.
God desires for us to not be a part of this world, from being polluted by the world. Freedom is coming to a revelation of God and others as the most important things for gaining freedom. After all, whats the use of gaining the whole world, if only in the end you end up losing your own soul?
All I can say is this; Love God, love others, and learn to die everyday, and God will bless your path with many jewels, so that in the end they will be set into a crown of righteousness that will be offered to you when the day of the Lord comes.