July 05, 2011

In Captivity to Freedom

“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 (NASB)

Today, I am doing all the stuff I declared myself “free” from on Monday July 4th. Yesterday I declared my independence from cooking and cleaning. Therefore, I did neither. I fought against being held hostage inside my home, so I went to the beach. However, this morning I paid the price for my freedom.

Apparently, I didn’t use enough sunscreen, so my legs are a bit burnt. My dishes were stacked, the laundry was tossed about and beds needed to be made. After slathering the tops of my legs with some type of blue gel, I began to get things in order before I could proceed with my day. You see, I have difficulty writing and working among chaos.

However, all last week, thoughts for today’s posting were running rampant through my mind. Sunday during worship, the preacher touched on some of the same things I had mulled over. I had to wonder, how did he get into my head? Preachers have a funny way of doing that or perhaps it is a God-thing. What do you think?

Now I must make a small confession. I just finished writing an entire posting on how I believe we are held captive to our freedoms here in this country. Please I am not being unpatriotic. It is for patriotism that I wrote it. But because it sounded like an editorial for a newspaper, I just deleted it. (I hope I do better with the following.)

However, can I get you to think about this statement, “in the land of the free we are all a captive audience of human beings?” Does that resonate with anyone out there? On what level? I truly believe that this country is in captivity to more things than you can shake a stick at. I attribute near all of this to our freedoms or misuse thereof. It hurts my heart that so many have valiantly died to protect the freedom that I see such misuse of. I do not have a pat answer on how to correct this but I want to give you some food for thought.

Sunday Pastor William said that freedom doesn’t mean liberal or legalism. What a great truth! It made me think about a few things Paul wrote in the Bible. Paul encouraged the believers in Galatians to stand firm in the freedom that Christ gave them and to not be subject again to any yoke of slavery. In Corinthians, Paul warned about the misuse of grace. Just as God offered salvation by grace through Christ, He also offers freedom to the born again believer. Yet just as grace can be misused and taken for granted, so can freedom. That is why boundaries are so important whether imposed by our state (law) or our self (as in self-control) and of course in Scripture. I imagine if the founding fathers of this country had foreseen the use of some of the freedoms they fought for, they might have made some swift additions to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Now in this country and in Christ, I have the liberty and the freedom to write this. I am thankful of that. But I have also tried to exercise grace and common sense. You will find no profanity or vulgar explosiveness contained here. And it’s not because I don’t want to offend anyone. It’s because I believe it to be a misuse of my freedom of speech. Not too mention, it is SO unnecessary! As far as not offending, well…. While I don’t make a point to say hurtful things with the intention of offending people, yet there are those who will take offense to almost anything. Have you ever wondered why? Let’s look to Jesus for the answer. Christ Himself was offensive to many people in His day and time. Why? Did He lash out with bleep-bleep words to cause offense? No. Did He purposely slander or malign folks just to make Himself feel superior? No. He simply told the truth and quite often the truth spilled light into a life of sin and the sinner got his feelings hurt. Okay, my flesh says “Too bad, so sad – but the truth hurts.” But God knows once we see the truth and deal with what the truth reveals – then the TRUTH WILL SET US FREE!

Now I am not God and cannot reveal truth the same way He does but if I can make you (and me) think then I’ve done my job with this call to write. When we think about how we use the grace and freedom He imparted to us in love, then maybe we might take one more step in being conformed to His image and being the citizen that would make Him proud. Freedom – thank you Father for this gift.

John recorded Jesus in John 8:36 explaining, “So if the Son makes you free you will be free indeed!” Let true freedom ring, and then don’t misuse it!

Barbara

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