Freedom Does Not Equal Doing Whatever You Want

Americans love to talk about freedom. Scan Facebook and you’ll see many posts about rights and freedom. Never one about the responsibility that goes along with it.

What you do with your freedom is more important than having the freedom. And, by the way, even the Founding Fathers when discussing freedoms postulated that they originated with God.

And who better to help us understand God than the apostle Paul.

Check out the letter to the Galatians–my in-depth study object for the next few months.

Writing (Galatians 5:13-15), Paul addresses this directly.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.”

Americans, and actually also western Europeans, have trouble when Paul uses the word translated into English as slave. I remember writers such as Marx and Nietzsche stumbling over that word. Paul didn’t say to become “unfree.” Remember the commandment that Jesus left us with? Love one another. Take that as what Paul meant.

When Paul talks about slave, he talks about being a servant. Like when Jesus took off his outer robe and washed the feet of the disciples.

When we in America get all caught up in interpreting whatever we want into the First Amendment, Second Amendment, and so on through the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution, we should be really discussing what our (personally) responsibilities are with that freedom.

When we talk about freedom in Jesus, our discussion must center on the idea “now that we are free from having to worry about following every little item in the law, what are we going to do with that freedom.” That discussion must focus on what we will do for others as servants in love.

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