When our boys were growing up, they frequently asked me to take them to various parks around our city where they could play pick-up basketball. One evening I took one of them to a lighted court a few minutes from our house, and settled in to watch two half-court games. On one end of the court it was a free-for-all. I think the game was basketball, but I couldn't be sure. It looked like a combination of football, rugby and wrestling. No rules. No regulations. No whistles. No fouls. And from the looks of it, no fun.
On the other end of the court, a smooth, sharp game was in progress. These guys were players. They handled the ball like you would not believe. The knew what a foul was, and even called a few on themselves! With the talent and discipline they exhibited, these guys were going somewhere…and their high-flying, above-the-rim kind of game was a thrill to watch.
If you were a real player, the second game would be the game for you. The game with no rules and no skill would only frustrate (and might kill) you. But at the other end of the court, you could shine. The game with no rules would inhibit your freedom to excel, but the disciplined game would allow you all the freedom you need to play well. The truest freedom you and I can experience is the freedom that most closely conforms with our God-breathed, God-designed nature. He knows best how we are to function, and His parameters give us the freedom to really live.
JOHN 8:36 If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
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