For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (NLT)
In my childhood, there was an old water filled quarry near our house. Sadly, there were cases where inquisitive children fell in and drowned. So a fence was erected around the quarry. We were no longer free to explore the rim of it.
And so in our everyday society, those with some authority impose restrictions on our freedom. As our text reminds us, freedom is not self indulgence, is not asserting our independence from others. Our quest for freedom demands our rights but dismisses our responsibilities. In any human society or family or group, we are simply not free to merely please ourselves.
Without the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we too easily twist freedom into demanding that no one else can tell us what to do. It is a mistake the first human beings made. They thought independence from God led to freedom. But without God in our lives we are about as free as a ship without rudder or compass may be. Free to drift or be shipwrecked.
Ultimately, freedom is not the freedom to do as we please, but the freedom to please God and love others. The freedom to become the person God has made me to be.