We are told that freedom is “the absence of external constraints”. The ability to do what we want and choose for ourselves. That’s why we resist so strongly someone else telling us how to live.
And that is part of freedom. But there is so much more to it than that!
You see, freedom cannot be defined strictly in negative terms – as simply the absence of confinement. In fact, in many cases confinement and constraint are actually a means to greater freedom.
For example, if you are a gifted sports person, you may practice, practice, practice for years to perfect your sport. You’ll wake up early, go the gym, and eat healthy. These are all restrictions – limits to your “freedom”. There will be many other things you won’t be able to do. But… that discipline and limitation will unleash your ability that would otherwise have gone untapped.
Sometimes you have to say no now for freedom later.
Yet, when it comes to issues of morality, we think the rule doesn’t apply.
And when someone says, “The Bible teaches you can’t have sex before marriage”, our gut reaction is “NO!! You’re taking away my freedom!” But, what I have come to realise, is that the only reason God says these kind of things is because He wants us to experience MORE freedom in the long term.
It’s the difference between freedom FROM and freedom FOR, and in my opinion, freedom FROM external constraints is less vital than the freedom FOR the life you were made to live.
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