Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Freedom for a Meaningful Life
“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.” (V.1, NIV)
Today, the United States celebrates its 238th Independence Day. This is the special day for all, as we remember the freedom struggles of the founding fathers and earlier generations, and meditate on the freedom we receive as Christians and as a country. This is a day where we celebrate freedom through fellowships with our friends, family, and colleagues.
As we celebrate freedom, we must remember that Freedom is not free; it comes at a cost. In the selected passage, the Apostle Paul reminds us, “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.” (NIV)
We must distinguish and emphasize the difference between biblical concept of freedom, and what people perceive today as freedom. In the scriptures, we understand that freedom is to be exercised within God’s purview. It is given by God along with free will. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (NIV) People generally perceive freedom as doing what you want to/that which pleases you as long as it does not interferes in others’ way of living. This type of comprehension has infiltrated into the very fabric of society, and is a challenge for us.
St. Augustine, a prominent Church Father, through his writings has said that true freedom is not choice or lack of constraint, but being what you are meant to be. We as humanity, were created in the image of God. Therefore, true freedom is not found in moving away from that image but only in living it out. The closer we conform to the true image of God, that is through Jesus Christ, the freer we become. The farther we drift from it, the more our freedom shrinks.
Martin Luther, the Reformer, once said, “A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.” Christian freedom is experienced fully when it is exercised responsibly, and it coincides with Christian serving.
Independence Day, is a time of celebration of the blessings we experience through freedom. However, it is a challenge for one to exercise his/her freedom in a responsible manner, without compromising Christian values and ideals. Come and let us celebrate freedom by bringing the message of the gospel which proclaims freedom in Christ to the world, and lead a meaningful life.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for the freedom we receive. Help us to use our freedom in a responsible manner, by making wise decisions, and giving honor to you through our lives. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Freedom is not free. Let us use our God-given freedom responsibly.
Rev. Dennis Abraham, Youth Chaplain, South East Region