There has been a lot talk about freedom this week. From rescuing Haitians from the ravages of their country to examining the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., freedom rings in my ears. Even though this freedom talk has been on a global scale, I haven’t been able to keep from thinking about what freedom means to me personally.
On Sunday, I couldn’t go to church. Joshua was sick. He had a cold and a hacking cough so we were homebound, keeping the church free of his germs. I was disappointed. I love my children and would do whatever I can to give them proper care, but this morning I wondered if my mothering had taken its toll, yet again.
I remember the poem I wrote and can now see that my focus has been on my strength instead of God’s strength to mother, and I realize this is so much larger than my failure to mother God’s way, but it is a failure to follow the freedom of Christ.
This is real freedom, when you lose your will and way and follow that of Jesus Christ. I once thought I was free when I was a rebel, saying and doing what I wanted with little regard to how others felt. I had loosed the will and ways others, but found I was lonely with this behavior. With friends not as daring, I was often alone with my maverick ways. Then I got older, and I realized that my choices of freedom always impacted someone else’s choices of freedom, often limiting them. Freedom has its limits. But if freedom has its limits, is freedom what it is designed to mean? Can there truly be self-determination, lack of restrictions, autonomy, or sovereignty when what we do and say restrict others, even ourselves?
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).
With the freedom of Christ, we are no longer obligated to develop processes and strategies but are free to follow in the path set before us. Walking outside of the freedom of Christ throws us back to the bondage of slavery—being a slave to ourselves and others, working hard against man’s intrinsic selfishness and rebellion that challenge our “freedom.” Freedom in Christ allows us the privilege of Jesus fighting for us when people come against our choice to serve Him (Romans 8:31).
Though I wonder if the definition of freedom needs to be altered the way we many times use it, I know that the freedom that Christ offers is unchanging. Our challenge—my challenge—is to give up our way to freedom and allow the freedom of Jesus Christ to have its way. Then and only then can we truly be free.
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith