Monday, January 13, 2014

Slavery and Freedom

Freedom!  It's our right.  It's our rallying cry.  But what does it really mean? 

Most people think of freedom generally as the ability to do whatever they want to do.  Maybe if you press they will add "within reason".  I couldn't disagree with this definition more.

Make no mistake, I do want to be free.  I want to be free from any constraints that keep me from being the best I can possibly be.  Unfortunately, limiting myself to "what I want" as my cry of freedom is the most limiting thing there is.

I know myself pretty well.  Sometimes I am good, sometimes I am not.  I know full well I want plenty of things that are bad for me.  Even some things deep down that I would never tell anyone about.  Can't you see that this is what's holding you back?  Relying on yourself - trying to muddle through life, well intentioned or not, with this huge anchor deep inside that you can never get away from is a path to defeat.  The more you try to resist and be good, the more you realize just how strong it fights back.  It has you trapped.  You are a slave to your own desires.

Sometimes people even give up entirely and just assume that whatever is inside them is the ultimate goal.  They do not constrain themselves.  Whatever they want, they do their best to get.  Unfortunately that way lies emptiness and an unending thirst for more.  For these desires inside are never satisfied. 

So you're tired of fighting.  You want out.  You want away... from yourself.  You may have heard the expression "Freedom in Christ", that's what it is talking about.  The whole point, the whole crux of Christianity is learning to let go of yourself and let God replace that part of you with something better.  He will align your desires with His own.  He will give you the power to fight back successfully.  You stop becoming a slave to your own desires and start becoming truly free to do great things.

It's one of the strange paradoxes of life that the more you let go, the more free you really are.