“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 (NIV)
The word freedom is tossed around in today’s culture like a helium balloon. It is used so much to define so many issues and problems in our world that it has almost lost the power behind its meaning.
If you break down the original root words for the word freedom you get a very different meaning. “Free,” in the Old English sense means “beloved” or “love.” The second half of the word “-dom,” means “domain” or “condition.” So if you put the two meanings together, you get “beloved domain,” or “love condition.” The word freedom has evolved from its original intent into the current dictionary definition, “the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.”
When I look at the current world definition of the word freedom, I no longer get the sense of “love,” instead I see more of the “domain,” and “condition” being utilized. In today’s society we have become a culture that uses this word for political gain rather than for the liberty that Christ intends for His people.
I am disappointed to hear the word freedom used in such a lighthearted manner. When I hear some of the many groups in this country going on about their rights and their “freedom”, I think of the word “selfish”. When I think of our service men and women who loved this country enough to risk their lives, I see a picture of sacrifice and selflessness.
God’s purpose and meaning for the word freedom goes back to the original “love condition”. Christ’s purpose for dying on the cross was to demonstrate His great love for us, not because of a feeling of obligation or duty. The “freedom” Galatians 5:1 talks about is our “love condition” in relation to God. Because of Christ’s love, we are not to be burdened by the cares of this world. Instead, we are to “stand firm” in the knowledge that because of Christ we are free.
Even though we've already celebrated Independence Day and the birth of this great nation, continue to think about what the word “freedom” means to you. Is it a term built on love and self-sacrifice, or is it just another word without real meaning?
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Action Item |
Think about your life and any areas that are enslaved and need to be set free by God. What does the word “freedom” mean to you?
Heavenly Father, thank You for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that sets us free from the bondage of this world. Thank you for all of the men and women who risk their lives each day so that I can live in a country that is free.
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