As Americans, the concept of freedom is important to us. America prides itself on being the land of the free and the home of the brave. Yet increasingly there is a warped view of what true freedom means or rather what it entails.
The common conception of freedom is best illustrated by an event that happened to my friend multiple years ago. When she was younger, she was at a park with her sister and cousin. The three of them observed a group of young people defacing some of the park equipment. Feeling bold, they went up to the young people and told them they shouldn’t be destroying other people’s property. The response from the young people?
“It’s a free country.”
The response indicates that people have a tendency to view freedom as the right to do whatever they want. Yet that is not entirely accurate. America is a place to celebrate freedom. But what does freedom truly
True freedom doesn’t mean that people have the right to do whatever they want. Even in our culture, the freedoms of people are limited. There are laws to protect the lives and properties of others. Essentially, my freedom is limited if my actions could harm the person or property of another. Basically, I can’t steal or murder another person among many other things. Most people would agree that the limitation of
my freedom to steal the property of another is a right and good limitation.
Similarly, the Founding Fathers of America talked about individuals having rights to certain freedoms. But again, this wasn’t a freedom to do whatever people wanted. People have a right to life and liberty. The Founding Fathers didn’t intend it to mean that people then have the liberty to do anything and everything. Rather, the Founding Fathers indicated that the government should not infringe on certain liberties the people should have.
Biblically speaking also, people are free, not to do whatever they want, but to do what is right. As Christians, we are free from the power of sin but again this does not mean we are free to do whatever we want. Instead we are constrained by the laws of God; we are to love, honor, glorify, and obey him in every aspect of our lives.
America is in many ways a land of freedom. But that freedom doesn’t, or rather shouldn’t, encompass the freedom to engage in activities such as defacing the property of others.
Christians that understand the true meaning of freedom will honor God in their lives.