July 23: freedom

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. (1 Peter 2:16)

A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with my best friend from college. We had lost track of each other until one day last month I came home to a message on my answering machine inviting me to breakfast the next morning. We had not seen each other in thirty years! Much of our conversation over breakfast was reminiscing our college experiences and some of the troubles that today we can laugh about. When I was eighteen and left the shelter of home for the less sheltered environment of college, I felt free. I could suddenly do what I wanted to do (which of course was not entirely true). Within the first couple of weeks of college, I got involved in what I and others thought would be a prank of legedary proportions. And it became that, but not for the reasons we had hoped. It became legedary because of the trouble we caused – almost ending my time in college within those first couple of weeks. (You’re curious. I know. But this is my blog, and there are a few secrets I won’t write about here!)

Let me just say I began to realize that true freedom is not about doing whatever I desire, but true freedom is about choosing to live in submission to God. My idea of the Christian faith was having the right ideas while living any way I wanted. In other words, as long as I believed the right things, I was free. Not so. Even the first Christians struggled with this. If belief in Christ set them free, then they were free indeed. Just not the way they wanted. Freedom is choosing to submit and living in submission to the way of Christ. We are never forced to do that. We have been given the freedom to choose.

My life is not my own. It is a gift from God, and the greatest blessing comes in living to honor my Maker so that others will see that God is glorified through me. So, I am free! Now what will I do today?

Today’s readings: 2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38-39; Psalm 75; 1 Peter 2

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