I've been thinking a lot lately about how variable the concept of "freedom" is. Freedom is only a relative state of being, for one thing. There is no such thing as "complete freedom"--you can only be "free of" something. If you are free of everything, you really aren't free at all. For example, if I am free of my family, I may find myself trapped by my loneliness and longing for them. If I am free of gravity, I am trapped by my inability to stay firmly planted on the ground and do all the things that require gravity (and, for that matter, I would soon be dead--"freed" of my life). So, "freedom" is only so valuable as the degree of evil of the thing from which you are made free.
So, when I visited Starbucks this week and read "The Way I See It" (#76) on my cup, I found it of particular interest. This is what it said:
"The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating--in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." --Anne Morriss
Now, think about that for a moment. Read it again and let it sink in.
Our entire society--in fact, the society of the entire earth--is absolutely obsessed with the idea of freedom. We think we want free everything. We want free stuff (making us liberated from having to work or earn a living); we want free choice (liberating us from responsibility to the laws--whether they be moral or political); we want free love (liberating us from commitment to another person in marriage). However, in each situation these kinds of "liberations" or "freedoms" are illusions. They are traps. They are deceptions. They are lies. When we free ourselves from the need to work, we simply end up taking advantage of others, falling prey to laziness and self-centeredness and, when it catches up with us, starving to death. When we free ourselves from moral and/or political law, we also end up falling prey to our own depravity--we inflict pain on others and destroy ourselves. When we free ourselves from loving commitments to others, we become trapped by our loneliness, our lusts and, eventually, to all the ailments that attack those with a promiscuous lifestyle. What do all these scenarios have in common? Our destruction.
I, like Ms. Morriss, believe commitment to be one of wisest and most liberating decisions we can make--if made to something or someone worthy of that commitment.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Challenge: Search your heart. How free are you? Have you committed yourself to something or someone that is robbing you of true freedom? Have you avoided committing your life to the God who made you and loves you and desires only your best? If so, make a change! Ask Jesus for the freedom only He can provide.