Independence or freedom? – Hope 103.2

Independence or freedom?

Our choice in life is not about being free or not: it is about who or what we will serve. Absolute freedom is an illusion.

By David ReayFriday 16 Mar 2018LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Read 1 Peter 2:16

16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. (NRSV)

Freedom seems to be a good thing. Everyone seems in favour of it. But there is much misunderstanding of just what freedom means. For some it means freedom to do as we please: no one can order me around. I make my own decisions and am not bound by manufactured rules.

It is not what the Bible speaks about when it describes followers of Jesus as being free. We are described as free slaves or servants: an apparent paradox. We are both in submission to Jesus as Lord and yet free. The paradox is only resolved once we realise God made us to serve him. We are only free inasmuch as we live his way. Otherwise, we are actually captives to our own selfish ambitions.

Adam and Eve sought to be independent of God and found that they were no longer free to relate to God as they once did. The prodigal son figured he could be free once beyond his father’s oversight. He found only captivity and futility in the pigsties of the far country.

People who defy God and want to live without him are only free as a ship without rudder and compass is free. Free to drift, free to shipwreck. Our choice in life is not about being free or not: it is about who or what we will serve. Absolute freedom is an illusion. Will we serve our own desires or align ourselves with God’s desires? Will we choose freedom or settle for mere independence?

Blessings
David Reay