Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Becoming shackle-busting freedom fighters (Galatians 5:1)

SCRIPTURE: Galatians 5:1 (TM) - larger reading Galatians 5:1-15
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

Mark Twain tells a quaint story of the man who spent years in prison, only to walk out one morning when he discovered that the doors had never been locked.

“Christ has set us free” – what a glorious declaration, but here’s the rub: do we realize it? Are we living as men and women who have been given this incredible freedom? An individual who is free walks differently, thinks differently, acts differently, but we… well, not so much. If we only see ourselves as the world sees us.

Somehow we just can’t wrap our gray matter around this concept. And here is my way of looking at our problem with this idea – maybe it will require a paradigm shift for some – to live and act as freed people we should be granting the privilege of living as free men and women to everyone else. Once freed from the shackles that held us we become shackle-busting freedom fighters. Hmmm, but we like placing harnesses of slavery around the necks of others, i.e. think like me, act like me, vote like me, believe like me or you are not “one of us”… group think (whatever that is suppose to mean).

It probably could be a control issue. If our political party or our subgroup within society needs to dominate then are we really free? To be a free person is to allow others to be free. If Christ has set us free then we shall be free indeed. As the latest Facebook poster states: “It is the Holy Spirits job to comfort, God’s job to judge and my job to love. Billy Graham.”

If we are resurrection people then we should be transferring that resurrection to others and not to just those who give a verbal adherence to our particular and peculiar set of beliefs. Strange world we live in isn’t it and it’s getting stranger by the minute… and the stranger it becomes the less freedom is experienced.

Thomas Huxley got it right when he declared: “A man’s worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.” It could boil down to one thing and one thing only: We are all controlled by something – be it our conservative idealism, our structured belief system, our animal instincts and urges, or Christ. We make a choice and pay the piper, but be careful because we just might be relinquishing our God given joy and the freedom that God offers.

Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms when by myself I stand;
imprison me within thine arms, and strong shall be my hand.


Yes, Lord, make us a captive because we desire freedom above all else.

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