You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. I Corinthians 6:12 (NLT)
I've been pondering the lyrics of songwriters Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster – Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. They penned those words of a lost relationship and innocence in the late 60's. The song "Me and Bobby McGee" has been performed by many, but perhaps the most famous version is by Janis Joplin. She recorded the song only a few days before her death.
That one line makes me consider whether I truly consider freedom as a positive to be gained. Or, do I view freedom through the eyes of the lyricists, as what's left after I've lost it all. Does freedom mean I can do anything I want without consequences, or does it mean I have choices and must be ready to accept the consequences?
If you have been in the church world, you've heard the expression "freedom in Christ." I guess that phrase makes me feel good, but I don't completely understand the depths of that sentiment.
What does "freedom in Christ" mean for me and you?
I have to recognize that I'm a sinner and need a savior. I was not put on this earth to do everything right and to earn my salvation. I can't. You can't. We can't be good enough to earn our way to heaven or to earn the respect of man in this life. Freedom in Christ means accepting that I'm simply not good enough . . . and that's okay, because Christ is. Ephesians 2:8
I get to make choices and I must accept the consequences. The world measures success by nice cars, big houses, high-powered jobs and perfect kids. Maybe you have all of those things and more. There's nothing wrong with having things. So often I find myself making choices to reach goals that are good goals, but not God goals. They are goals that the world says I must achieve at all costs if I want success and happiness. True freedom occurs when we don't need those things and when we know that our satisfaction and joy comes from Christ. Jeremiah 29:11
I know who I am in relationship to Christ. Christ is master and I am servant. It's simple. I have to serve something or someone. Either I'm serving my own needs or wants, or I'm serving Christ. Yes, I feel the rub. How can I be free and be a servant? So long as I am not a slave to the world, I am free in Christ. I Corinthians 7:22
As a Christ follower, I fight the paradox of true freedom: doing what I want versus living a life following in Christ's example.
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Action Item |
Write down one thing you are "serving" that is getting in the way of fully serving Christ. In your prayer time, ask God for forgiveness and to help you be His servant.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You today for allowing me to be born and raised in a country that is founded on freedom. I think you for the freedom I experience by accepting you as Lord and Master. To serve you is to gain freedom. Amen.
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