What it means to really be free

Long after our Fourth of July celebrations wind down, it will still be there.

When conversations around the grill and picnic table end, we’ll still need it.

The cheers of crowds under a firework-lit night sky will draw to a close, but freedom will remain part of our lives.

Independence Day is a good reason to enjoy the weekend with friends and family, but freedom is bigger than a summer holiday can contain.

Where Freedom Comes From

Freedom does not come from a set of ideals or a rule of law. It’s not from envisioning a better future or becoming stronger than another. No one person or institution is the author of freedom; only God is.

Freedom is not something we fight for; it is something we’re given.

Freedom is not something we fight for; it is something we’re given.

Why We Need Freedom

Sin is the enemy of freedom. When we sin, we become enslaved to our destructive behavior (John 8:34-36). We are not free if we try to control others, act in anger, hold resentful grudges or take things that don’t belong to us. Sin holds us hostage, hurting us and the people around us.

Because we’ve all sinned, we all need to be rescued by Jesus. He defeats sin — a feat we could never accomplish — and sets us free from its slavery.

How to Use Your Freedom

Freedom should always be celebrated because it’s a gift from God (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Taking freedom for granted shows that we don’t care about what Jesus has done for us. It would be ignoring the selfless act of sacrifice Jesus performed by dying on the cross to free us from sin.

When we use our freedom to do what we want at the expense of other people, we’re sinning. We don’t get a free pass to act carelessly in the name of freedom. Freedom isn’t the absence of restrictions; it’s removing barriers that keep us from serving other people better (Galatians 5:13-15).

Freedom is not about enacting our own will; it’s about aligning with God’s will.

Don’t Forfeit Your Freedom

When we return to a pattern of selfishness and sin, we place ourselves in slavery. It’s like a freed slave returning to a cruel master. Why would we want to go back to something destructive that Jesus freed us from?

The only way to live in freedom is to continually take next steps in our walks with Jesus (Galatians 5:16-18). Maintaining freedom isn’t found in self-defense or self-preservation, but in staying close to Jesus.

When we follow Jesus step by step, we learn to see the world the way He sees it. We learn the truth about the world, about who God is and about who we are. We live in freedom when we align every part of our lives with the truth God shows us in the Bible (John 8:31-32).

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