Wisdom Wednesday: Freedom

Photo credit:  Luca Zaninoni - www.sxc.hu/photo/1330210

Photo credit: Luca Zaninoni – http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1330210

Have you ever gained freedom from one thing only to rush into something else and found yourself bound again or wishing you could go back? A couple of days ago as I had just finished grocery shopping and was going to pick up my daughter from an appointment, I watched a little dog with a red collar running and bounding through the strip mall parking lot. It appeared to have escaped from a parked car and was simply ecstatic to be free. As I prepared to park my car and try to rescue the dog, I watched it jump into some tall grass that swallowed it up. Not far from the edge of the tall grass was a river, and I was afraid the dog might unsuspectingly jump into it. The dog seemed to have no sense of potential danger, only that it was free. What if it had fallen into the river or gotten lost or hit by a car? Would it have regretted its momentary lapse of restraint for a brief run in the sun? Was it truly free?

2 Peter 2:19b says, “…by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved,” which according to the context is his own desires. The dog was enslaved by its intense desire to run free. Its desire seemed to be more in control than the dog itself.

“No one is free who is a slave to the body.” —Latin proverb

“…use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” —Galatians 5:13b

I am so glad for the boundaries my loving, heavenly Father has set for me, and that He didn’t set me free to pursue things I’d begged for only to realize later how enslaving or harmful they would have been. It reminds me of the time my daughter’s dog escaped the house to run after a UPS truck and into a main road. What did she think she was gonna do with it once she caught it? I’m so glad she wasn’t hit by a car, but I couldn’t help but think of my beloved German shepherd I’d had that was free to be outside with us without a leash as well as by herself, because she knew to stay within the boundaries where it was safe and she was loved.

“To be free to sail the seven seas, you must make yourself a slave to the compass. Every freedom has a corresponding slavery. We can be free from the toothbrush and a slave to cavities or a slave to the toothbrush and free from cavities. For everything we want, we must give up something else.” – from Quiet Walk Daily e-Devotional

“We must accept responsibility in order to have true liberty.” –Ken Davis, Christian comedian

About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

22 responses to “Wisdom Wednesday: Freedom

  • Liberty of Thinking

    I have to agree with the common sense truth in your thoughts, passing by Paul’s twisted understanding and conception of otherwise normal human desires, reduced mainly through him (or the ones writing in his name) to a “sinfulness” to be avoided only by marriage (and even that as just a lesser worse…) or asceticism as in his own case…
    Freedom is just an illusion, with liberty as the only valid option if paired with responsibility, as Davis puts it well.
    Responsibility is complicated though, because it is a construct of self-imposed boundaries based upon one’s beliefs/convictions… From there, liberty could become the tragedy of the ones not sharing the same beliefs…
    Have I just assumed a difference between freedom and liberty?
    Yes, I did…

    • Rene Yoshi

      You’re right! There is a difference between freedom and liberty, isn’t there? Thank you, Moshe! 🙂 I agree, too, that liberty could become the tragedy of the ones not sharing the same beliefs. Even though you and I don’t completely share the same beliefs, I truly appreciate your input.

  • Randell Bell

    Another good one Rene 🙂

  • bennetta faire

    Very wise words, Rene–I love the point that freedom entails responsibility. I think a lot of my generation missed that somewhere along the “party” line. God bless you BIG today–love, sis Caddo

    • Rene Yoshi

      Thank you, Sis! I think you’re right. I think my generation dropped the ball somewhere along the line. 😦

      • bennetta faire

        We may be closer in age than I thought–you look so young!!

      • Rene Yoshi

        Aww, thank you, Sis Caddo. I think it’s the Asian in me. And the right lighting doesn’t hurt either. LOL. ((hugs))

      • bennetta faire

        Yes, I have to admit I’m just a wee bit envious of my Asian sisters–you all look beautiful forever! And Joseph Prince was just preaching about how we can live to 120–if we want to. I think I’ll pass…..

      • Rene Yoshi

        I had not heard of Joseph Prince, but I just watched a short video of his promise of long life. Umm…. yeah, I don’t think so. While negative thoughts and emotions (stress) can have an adverse affect on our health, simply believing God is not angry with us will not increase our longevity. I think I’ll pass, too. Thank you, Sis, for enlightening me. ((hugs))

      • bennetta faire

        Ha ha ha–I love him, but sometimes his enthusiastic ideas are a bit much. Most days though, he really buoys me up with his great teaching–God’s grace has so turned my life upside down in a great way!

  • Scott

    Reading between the lines can be…well…intriguing. I am reminded of people laying on the street here, dirty, foul-mouthed, depending on hand-outs for which they aggressively scramble like pigeons for crumbs. Asked why they prefer to live on the streets instead of a clean bed, free food and bathing facilities in any of the 4-5 missions within a two block radius and their reply is, invariably, “I don’t want anybody telling me how to live, I like the freedom!” And what freedom? Controlled by the LAPD who constantly sweeps the area and tells them when it’s time to wake up, dependant upon the largesse of folks with good intentions, at the mercy of the elements…the list goes on. There seems to be no true ‘freedom’ and even liberty has its bounds (Acts 18: 26b). What seems the best way to view all this is that we must act as best we can within the bounds placed upon us. The caged tiger can pace and lounge in his pool and, to a degree, have the freedom to ‘roam’ but only so far as his cage allows. The natural man, unsaved, can do nothing pleasing to God although that man may think he has freedom to act or not act as he wishes – he is doomed to failure anyway. We have the choice to do many things – our boundaries, natural or otherwise, prevent success (witness the man wanting to fly but bound by gravity).

    So what is our viewpoint with liberty/freedom? For me, it remains, resting in grace. Very rarely do we intentionally set out to do purposeful harm but, by virtue of our flesh, we tend to screw up anyway but in His marvelous grace the Lord provides; our ham-handed attempts to further what we think is “His” agenda fall flat; so He graciously provides the means to get back on track so He can do as He purposes. Do we egregiously take advantage of all this? Probably not on purpose but, even then, He understands and, even in discipline provides the means to correct the issues.

    Like the little dog in your example (a good one by the way), we invariably become lost in the tall grass. Fortunately the Lord patiently whistles for us and sets us back on the path which, many times, leads to the goal we originally wanted, but He has to do it in His way.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Excellent point! Thank you for mentioning the matter of grace and sharing the things you have personally witnessed. Thank you, too, for the picture of the Lord patiently whistling for us! 🙂

  • Especially Made

    Great post! Freedom in Christ is where true security lies.

  • Unshakable Hope

    Another great post, Rene! God freed me from alcohol 28+ years ago and I set a self-imposed boundary that I’d never even take another sip and I never have. But I have never felt restricted by this or any other of my self-imposed boundaries – they make me feel free. church-imposed boundaries (do’s and don’t’s) are legalism, but self-imposed boundaries are just common sense. (I come from a family plagued by alcoholism).

  • Happiness Isn’t Free | Sweet Rains

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