The Cost of True Freedom
There was a dim haze over my home. Only a few hours were left for the July 4thcelebrations. I could still hear firecrackers exploding in the distance. It had been fun. And as the end of Independence Day approached, I found myself thinking about people and freedom.
I thought of those who follow Jesus. Good people who worship a heavenly Father none of them deserve. He has blessed them with this incredible thing called freedom that few enjoy in other parts of the world. Then I prayed for my country, so divided these days.
I thought of the people at many of these celebrations. From different backgrounds, nations, income levels, races, colors, genders, religions. Yet they stood together and sang “God Bless America”. No one complained that the song infringed on their freedom. I appreciated that. Some spend much of their time talking about freedom while trying to take away mine.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 1
I thought of friends and family…when we shared a meal, talked a lot, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We prayed for the food, being together, and what the day meant to us. We talked about our ancestors and how they came to this country seeking freedom to live as Christians. 2
But freedom means different things to different people, and they use it in different ways. Often it comes down to this: being able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, regardless of how it may affect anyone else. And yet, history tells us that’s not freedom at all.
There is only one true freedom…freedom from sin. Nothing else. In other areas of our lives, we may have relative freedom. We may be more free than some, not as free as others. But if we want true, lasting freedom, we find it only in Jesus.
Our responsibility in having freedom is to share it.
That brings up an interesting thought. If freedom is so important, would we be willing to die for it? And would we be willing to lose everything we have, so someone else could be free? That’s a difficult question. But we must consider it because Jesus himself has put the issue before us.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 3
Freedom is a blessing and a gift. I pray we will think about the true freedom that comes from Jesus. And I hope we will not take it lightly, but instead see through the dim haze of this world, accept the responsibility that comes with it, and cherish our freedom so much that we want others to share in it as well.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read 2 Corinthians 3:17. (2) Sure, not all of them were Christians, but those who were took it seriously. They talked about it. They wrote about it. Being Christian was what they were. And they were not ashamed of it.. (3) Read John 15:12-15.
Pictures: Banner: Fireworks, created by katjen, Shutterstock. (1) Together On The Fourth, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, santamonica.com. (2) Where is Freedom, The Joy FM – Alabama, alabama.thejoyfm.com. (3) July 4th Birkdale Girl, Visit Lake Norman, NC, visitlakenorman.org.