Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Freedom & Boundaries

God has granted us freedom. He wants us to live in that freedom. But He never intended this freedom to be used as an excuse to live however we want. Rather, the freedom He gives is the freedom of choice.
You see, before we became Christians, we had no choice. Oh, we might have thought we did, but in reality, we were enslaved to sin and stuck under Satan’s dominion, with no choice except to follow his ways. But when God liberated us from sin and death and Satan, we were freed to choose. Daily we can decide whether we follow God or return to our old habit of listening to Satan. We can decide whether we use our bodies as instruments of righteousness or unrighteousness. We can decide whether we dress ourselves in Christ or in sin’s old rags.
So yes, God has given us freedom, but not to indulge in our own desires. That is what enslaved us in the first place, after all. Rather, He desires us to use our freedom to do good and serve others. (Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 2:16)
As a result, freedom doesn’t equate with being boundary-less. Indeed, a world without boundaries would be a world of unimaginable chaos: The ocean, without the boundary God set to hold it back (Jeremiah 5:22), would overflow the land. An object thrown up into the air might float away or hit the ground with a thud. Diseases would not only be incurable, but also untreatable and even unable to be diagnosed as random symptoms would strike for no logical reason.
And what would be true in the physical realm would be true in the spiritual: Justice would be impossible and truth could not exist, because right and wrong would be eradicated as meaningless. Power would become your ultimate end-all. Life would be reduced to the survival of the fittest. The possibility of human dignity would be erased. Worst of all, our magnificent and compassionate God would be reduced to a vicious and capricious tyrant, who forces His ways upon the world through the sheer force of His power.
So we have boundaries for a reason. They provide order and structure to the world. They add an element of predictability and stability. They enable logic, uphold justice, allow for human dignity, and promote truth. In short, boundaries act like guardrails . . . parachutes . . . bungee cords, even. They aren’t there to keep you from enjoying what God has given. They’re there to prevent you from dying senselessly.

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