Freedom is a wonderful thing to celebrate. However, it is far better to be free than talk about freedom.
For example, if government guarantees the freedom of speech, but a person has a habit of speaking in anger, that she/he wants to overcome, but can’t; is that person really free?
If an individual is dominated and directed by cravings and compulsions, is he really free?
If someone is tormented by fears, worries, and anxieties; does she possess freedom in those areas?
If a man or a woman is addicted to anything and can’t stop using it, doing it, or thinking it; where is his/her freedom?
If a family is dysfunctional and full of manipulation and control, is there freedom in that house?
If a child, teenager, or adult is bullied or living under excessive peer pressure, what happened to her/his freedom?
Freedom is not just a word to passionately throw around. It is more than a political document or a government guarantee.
Freedom is the ability to live your life without being dominated or controlled by people, government, cravings, tormenting thoughts, habits, pride, genetic tendencies, desires, anger, self-destructive behaviors, prejudice, compulsions, worries, fears, addictions, etc.
True freedom requires much fighting, but not with physical weapons. It requires that we fight and overcome the mental and emotional forces that enslave us.
If we defend and justify the things that enslave us, rather than gallantly resisting them, then we have surrendered our freedom and glorified our bondage.
The world’s greatest freedom document, the New Testament, promises real freedom: peace that passes understanding, no condemnation, the ability to “go and sin no more,” and even the capacity to “love your enemies.”
Now that’s something to fight for and to celebrate! On this 4th of July, may you rise up and begin to consistently train yourself to fight and overthrow your greatest bondage.