Phil Cox

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Freedom - Part 1

19th June 2009

Freedom is universally accepted to be a good thing. We all want to be free. Many religions and political movements promise their followers freedom.

But what is freedom?

This definition might appeal to many: ďfreedom is the ability to choose to do what I want, without being prevented by othersĒ.

The problem with that definition is that we understand that that kind of freedom is a bad thing, not a good thing. The idea that murderers, rapists and burglars should be free to do what they want without interference is plainly crazy. So that definition goes too far.

It also doesnít go far enough, in another sense. Itís not just others who prevent me doing what I want, itís also myself. As Paul said:

Romans 7v19
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do ó this I keep on doing.

The self-aware will recognise this problem. We donít do what we want to do. We want to be always kind, generous, self-controlled and good. But weíre not. Freedom isnít just freedom from external constraint, itís also freedom from internal constraint.

What an alcoholic wants is freedom from his own cravings, and what anyone with a conscience wants is freedom from his own sin.

Real freedom then, the freedom we really want for ourselves and for others, is the freedom to be good people. We could rephrase this as a tautology: good freedom is freedom to do good.

This is Godís offer to us through Jesus Christ.

Donít waste it.