What Is Freedom?

 "Freedom means you don't have to wear your hair a certain way or wear the same shoes as others," says Macon, 11.

Macon, you should meet my friend who has a shoe for every occasion. One time she determined to take control over her sole obsession by donating five large garbage bags of shoes to the Salvation Army. Some had never been worn. Perhaps she thought she could outfit an entire army.

"Freedom is when you smell the beautiful flowers in the cemetery," says Grant, 5. I assume Grant is speaking of those above the ground, not below.

"Freedom is when someone was in jail and, after one year, they were freed," says Tori, 8. "If I were in school, then at 2:50 p.m., I would go home with my mom or dad."

I think I see the connection you're making, Tori. At least you get to go home every day.

"I think that America needs God's help in the war right now. We need God's help to keep our freedom," says Langley, 8.

Veterans who have fought know the high cost of freedom. Wouldn't it be nice if all people were basically good? Wars would never be fought.

We're created in God's image, but sin has marred that image. History's tyrants and terrorists show the depths to which fallen humanity can descend. Adolph Hitler murdered millions of Jews. Joseph Stalin starved millions of Ukrainians. Fanatical terrorists kill innocent people.

America's Founding Fathers wisely designed the Constitution to protect the inalienable rights God gives to people created in his own image. They knew that any government asserting itself above God's authority is doomed to failure.

God acts freely, according to his own good pleasure, with absolute power apart from outside coercion. God the Father has given his Son all power and authority. Christians living in fellowship with the Lord Jesus exercise power as stewards of whatever influence, assets and talent God has given them.

"Freedom is a way of life," says Jessica, 10. "It's the way people live and how you want to live. Jesus died for us to free us from our sins. This gives us the freedom as well to choose between good and bad, between the truth and the lie, between God's path and the devil's path."

Author C. S. Lewis offers the illustration of a child who wants to play in a backyard sandbox when his parents have planned a vacation at the beach. Instead of trusting God to bring us into a larger place, we hang on to our puny sandboxes.

Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

This saying of Jesus is often seen engraved in the halls of secular academia. But Jesus also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). This latter saying is not so popular on university campuses, because it's so politically incorrect to say there's only one way to heaven.

Think about this: The truth about freedom is that we enter this world enslaved to sin. No one except Jesus has ever kept God's laws perfectly. In his death, Jesus paid the penalty to free us from sin's penalty and addictive patterns of destruction. All who believe in him receive this new life. All who follow him experience the true freedom of his abundant life.

Memorize this truth: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

Ask this question: Are you free?

Listen to a talking book, download the "Kids Color Me Bible" for free, watch Kid TV Interviews and the Mission Explorers Documentary at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CAREY KINSOLVING

Publication date: July 2, 2012