Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Free Person

Freedom can often be seen as something individualistic.  So my freedom is about me doing whatever I want to do.

As long as I am not hurting anyone else then what does it matter if I choose this way of living my life?

Even if others are offended or hurt by what I do, so what?  My life is my own to do with as I please.

Now I'm sure I am painting a caricature here of how people understand freedom, but if we are all honest, there are many times we have felt like this in the depths of our heart.  A desire to say 'screw the world, I'm living for me now.'

An understanding of our own freedom can often be seen in the way interact with each other.  So I will make a decision about my friendships and relationships based on what I want to do and what I want out of it.  We believe it is freedom to be in control of my own future and my own destiny.

Morpheus: Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.

But what if true freedom was all about surrendering your life and control to another?

So freedom is not an object or a substance or something individualistic.  Rather it is a relationship between persons.

Freedom is about a giving of yourself to another, about being free for the other, about what happens to you through the other.

Freedom is about self-giving, self-sacrificing love.  Laying down your life for the other.  Laying down all that you want in order that others may receive what they need.  We see this most powerfully at the Cross of Jesus.

Rather than clinging onto your life in some self-preservation way, thus causing you to become a slave to fear of death, you surrender your life to God and discover freedom in relationship with Him.

We are invited into this eternal dance with God.

You are free when you give yourself in love to another in relationship.  Because we fully become who we are by being in relationship with another.  We were created to be in relationship.  We discover our true selves when we discover lives beyond ourselves.

Laying down all that you want in order that others may receive what they need.

Freedom then is not about doing whatever you want to do, it is not about selfish ambition and success, but about living a life that sees the beauty of the other, the pain and suffering of the other, and desiring to live in relationship with the other, with a desire to share and relieve, give and hope, persevere and love.

Laying down all that you want in order that others may receive what they need.

Freedom is about giving of yourself fully to God and to others, that you might share in relationship with God and help others flourish in their lives today.

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