Saturday, March 02, 2013

Freedom and Responsibility

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about how responsibility always comes with freedom.  Whether it be the freedom to drive a car or have keys to the office, these freedoms ought not be taken for granted.  They come as we have earned trust.  You know... we can't even earn trust.  Trust is given to us just like freedom is.  It is given generally based what has been seen, but it is still given in faith.  Take a look at these thoughts from Galatians 5, 1 Peter 2, and 1 Corinthians 8.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another... Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king... But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.  
God clearly lays out the purpose of freedom.  It is for serving one another, for serving to the Lord and willfully submitting to Him and the authority that He ordains in our lives.  It is for showing honor and love to those in authority as we submit to them.  It is for being sensitive to the weaknesses of others [considering others as more important than ourselves].  What a joy it is to have the freedom that God gives and to go right back to Him and say, "God, I want to be your bondslave... not because I am forced to, but because I love to do Your will!"

You see... freedom isn't to be used for selfishness. You have a car? Use it for good... submit to authority with it... use it to show that others are more important than yourself.  As I consider these things, I am challenged to really analyze the incredible freedoms that I have been given.  Am I using them to serve God, to serve others, and to honor and submit to authority? 

Remember when you gained the freedom of being allowed to cross the street for the first time by yourself?  I remember telling my parents that if I was crossing the street and could tell that I wasn't going to make it all the way, I'd lay down really really flat and the car would go over me and I'd be between the wheels and be fine.  Freedoms are granted to those that are ready to use them in the right manner.  May the Lord graciously hold back any freedoms from us that would cause us harm and may He continue His sanctifying work in us so that we are ready to use the freedoms that He grants us in a manner that pleases Him.

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