How a person handles freedom gives great insight into their character. Freedom is often taken for granted and abused. A person may behave a certain way when they must, but it’s under the opportunities of freedom that we find out who a person really is. A choice made within the context of the freedom to choose gives insight into a persons values, beliefs, and convictions. Freedom is a huge blessing in this country but it is also a huge responsibility. I believe freedom is one of the main reasons Christian students walk away from God during their college years. The freedom to choose how they want to live is a heavy burden and many of them exercise that freedom in ungodly ways, even though they profess to be godly. College students are not alone in this I’m afraid. Many adult Christians have the same trouble dealing with the responsibility of freedom.
I hear people talk a lot about their rights as well. Our rights are very important to us and we do many things under the mantra of “it’s my right”. We love to blend our culture with our Christianity, so when we are faced with decisions, we tend to use our American rights instead of our Christian duty to make those decisions. Freedom and rights are not synonymous. You may be free to do a certain thing or behave a certain way but that does not mean you have the right. And too often we fail to understand that being a Christ-follower is all about giving up our rights. If this is Un-American, then so be it.
No one in history had more freedom and rights than Jesus Christ. And no one has ever had more to lose. He is the ultimate example of what it looks like to give up freedom and rights to be obedient to God. He had the freedom to come down from the cross but he chose to stay there. He had the rights of a king but chose to let them go for us. What freedom and rights are you willing to let go of? We need to understand that there are many rights we have as Americans that do not blend with Christianity.
You may have the freedom to commit adultery but you do not have that right. You may have the freedom to not forgive someone but you do not have that right. You may have the freedom to hoard your money but you do not have that right. You may have the freedom to be unloving but you do not have the right. You may have the freedom to enjoy sex outside of marriage but you do not have that right. You may have the freedom to succumb to your own will but you do not have that right. You may have the freedom to be full of pride but you do not have that right. As a Christian, you have the right to be faithful, forgiving, generous, loving, pure, submissive, and humble.
Do not let your freedoms as an American interfere with your rights as a Christian.