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Born Free

As a child, I remember a heartfelt movie about a lion cub whose parents were killed. She was taken in and raised by a couple who didn’t want to see her suffer the same fate. Over the course of many years, the movie ends with them re-introducing her to the wild and traveling back a year later to find her thriving in a pride, with baby cubs of her own.

Lions were born to be free. So were you and I.

Does that make us lions? Not quite. For a start, I don’t have enough hair. But as I reflect on this weekend’s July 4th celebration, I find myself thinking about freedom just a little more than usual.

In the US, we enjoy freedoms that so many around the world don’t. But we’re still not really free. We’re free to do whatever we want until someone makes a bad decision, and then a law is created to make sure others don’t do the same thing again.

We really live in an allusion of freedom because history has shown that humans can’t handle total freedom. It seems to be a “built-in” problem, part of our DNA. It seems to happen fairly quickly and naturally, especially if you have siblings. Almost instantly, we desire what the other has and don’t even think about asking us to share.

Why do we tend to like ‘me’ more than ‘we’. 

It’s not all bad. Turns out a few boundaries keeps us in check. We don’t always agree on exactly what those boundaries should be, (would 80 mph be so bad on the highway?) but generally, we all seem pretty good about not killing and stealing. 

Have you ever thought about creation? About God’s first instructions to Adam and Eve? Did you even realize that those ten commandments everyone talks about didn’t come around for a looooong time after creation?

When God made us, he only had one boundary. He didn’t bog us down with a novel and all kinds of possible permutations of how the law could be twisted, bent or inferred. He simply told us to stay away from one tree. For our own good. 

Wow.

That seems pretty loose if you ask me. I guess there was no-one around for them to steal from, but the killing happened soon enough. Why didn’t he give them more rules? More boundaries? More instruction?

It seems to me that God created people with more freedom than they’ve ever had. His perfect design wasn’t to be restrictive, but to give us free will, and freedom to use that free will however we wanted. Why? Because that’s why he made us. To be free. Free in a very real and unlimited sense.

When people talk about Christianity, I hear negativity much of the time. As though Jesus and God are perceived as being tyrants in Heaven. Ironic really, given Jesus left Heaven to save us.

Do they have a few suggestions on how we should live?

Sure.

Should we pay attention given the whole supreme beings thing?

Seems like a smart bet!

By design we were created to be free, in a much bigger and grander sense than our forefathers could possibly have dreamed. When we realize that, and that God wants to help us live life in that freedom, we can experience a much fuller life if we don’t.

Freedom is a good thing.

Our choices sometimes make it a bad thing.

But I think God is still all in on freedom, it’s just our definitions of what that freedom is that cause issues today.

He wants us to be free to live love.

We still want to be free to live for me.

He wants us to be free to love others out of choice.

We want to love us with that choice.

He wants us to be free to pursue Him because we want to.

We want to pursue things that entertain us, because it’s easier.

Take a few minutes this week and talk to Jesus about your freedom. How you use it. How you enjoy it. See if he has any thoughts or suggestions on how you could experience even more in life and faith.