In my last post we looked at where we find real freedom.
The question here is, what does that freedom look like?
Before we begin, you need to know that you are free, no matter what you may think about it–no matter what your situation.
What I mean is, you’ve been given free will by God to do whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean that whatever you freely choose to do is in your best interests.
Of course, you are not the only one who is free. There are seven billion other people, just like you, who are also free to do whatever they want. And whatever they choose to do is not always in their best interests either…or yours.
But you won’t see real freedom in your circumstances. As I said in “thoughts on freedom,” it’s not about your location, it’s about your state of being. Paul was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, left for dead, harassed, destitute, betrayed…but he was free. In fact, he taught on freedom more than anyone else in Scripture.
So let’s give up this illusion that we are not free. That others are to blame. Because whether you think you are free or not, you are free. How you choose to respond to whatever circumstances you find yourself in, in all things you are free.
Okay then, what does real freedom look like? I’m glad you asked! Here are a few brief thoughts about it.
Real freedom looks like love
The fact is, love is required for real freedom.
People who are not truly free cannot truly love. They can only truly control and manipulate others because they are truly driven by fear and self-interest.
Nothing is more free than true lovers. They are neither independent nor codependent. They don’t need to be told that they should try to please one another. This is because love is inherently free.
Real love means real freedom from fear, abandonment, rejection, judgment, condemnation, shame, guilt, addiction, stress, worry, anxiety, offense, unforgiveness, or anything else that poisons the soul.
The New Covenant does not work without the freedom found in love.
And this looks like the eternal Son of God, the King of glory, the God of the Angel Armies, Creator of every quantum particle of heaven and earth–though rejected by everyone He loved–willingly beaten, willingly nailed to a Cross, willingly carrying the full weight of sin upon Himself. Why? So you could live free from any such weight; so that He could be with you forever.
Yup, real freedom looks like love.
Real freedom looks like grace
Grace is the power of God to live free from sin, not the freedom to sin.
Grace is being compelled by love (2 Cor.5:14) instead of being compelled to judge. People who are free don’t feel the need to make everyone else behave. Because the only control in the Kingdom is self-control.
And self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, not man’s attempts to behave.
Real freedom found in grace looks like the opposite of religion.
For the word freedom means “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”
On the other hand, religion comes from two Latin words (re-ligare) which means to “bind again.”
Jesus was free. The Pharisees were religious. This is why sinners loved Jesus but didn’t love the Pharisees.
This is why both Jesus and atheists don’t like religion.
To quote Robert Farrar Capon, “Christianity is not a religion; it is the announcement of the end of religion.”
Real freedom looks like grace, the opposite of religion.
Real freedom looks like rest
Being free is being at rest in the deepest part of your soul, at peace with God.
This means believing what God believes about you and giving up all your arguments and illusions to the contrary.
Being at rest is being free in the “what” you do and the “why” you do what you do–being free to be you–being free from what others think should be you.
Being at rest means being free from the need to be right, being free from any need to prove yourself or strive to be somebody significant.
Being free means you’ve found your significance in the Father’s embrace.
Real freedom looks like rest.
So what does real freedom look like?
It looks like love.
It looks like grace.
It’s the opposite of religion.
Real freedom looks like rest.
Real freedom looks like Jesus.