There are two kinds of freedom.
There is freedom “from.” Freedom “from” is what enslaved people dream of. It is the goal of the person who struggles with addiction. Freedom “from” is the cry of a heart in a soul destroying marriage.
This is the freedom that causes people to rise to revolution. Slaves take desperate chances to escape bondage. The longing of the soul to be free is the fertilizer of courage. Human energy leans against walls of oppression until freedom bursts forth.
The irony, of course, is that once people find freedom “from,” the desperate energy dissipates. People take their freedom for granted. In only a generation, the pitched battles that bought freedom are forgotten. Freedom is co-opted for narrow causes. Soon freedom devolves into a kind of kindergarten tug of war: “You have to let me do this because it’s a free country.”
There is another kind of freedom, freedom “to.” Freedom “to” is the opening of opportunity. The gate opens and there is space to explore. New ideas have room to grow. Talents are discovered. This is the freedom that fuels human progress. Art is created. Relationships are built.
Human beings, not being very good at discipline, can quickly convert freedom “to” into a license to do whatever we want. We get busy chasing our own dreams. In the process, others are run over, disrespected, neglected. Freedom “to” ends up meeting freedom “from” unless there is a wise guide who shows us how to live in freedom.
Jesus said he came to set us free. And he said if he set us free, we would be free indeed. Was it freedom “from” or freedom “to?”
Jesus sets us free from sin and all its attendant chaos. He sets us free from the destruction of our souls, from shame, and from stumbling through life, not sure of how to respond to life challenges before us.
Jesus sets us free to find our true purpose. He sets us free to join him in creating the Kingdom of God – “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He sets us free to enjoy life without being result driven.
Find the freedom Jesus has for you. He wants to set you free “from” and set you free “to.” And he will give you the wisdom to know how live in both.