January 9, 2009
DEFINING LIBERTY, PART TWO
by Charles R. Swindoll
Without becoming needlessly academic, I want to define a term that I've been tossing around. What do I mean when I declare that the Christian has liberty? Essentially, liberty is freedom . . . freedom from something and freedom to do something. Today I will concentrate on what liberty gives us the freedom to do.
Grace brings a freedom to do something else---a freedom to enjoy the rights and the privileges of being out from under slavery and allowing others such freedom. It's freedom to experience and enjoy a new kind of power that only Christ could bring. It is a freedom to become all that He meant me to be, regardless of how He leads others. I can be me---fully and freely. It is a freedom to know Him in an independent and personal way. And that freedom is then released to others so they can be who they are meant to be---different from me!
You see, God isn't stamping out little cookie-cutter Christians across the world so that we all think alike and look alike and sound alike and act alike. The body has variety. We were never meant to have the same temperaments and use the same vocabulary and wear the same syrupy smile and dress the same way and carry on the same ministry. I repeat: God is pleased with variety. This freedom to be who we are is nothing short of magnificent. It is freedom to make choices, freedom to know His will, freedom to walk in it, freedom to obey His leading me in my life and you in your life. Once you've tasted such freedom, nothing else satisfies.
Perhaps I should reemphasize that it is a liberty you will have to fight for. Why? Because the ranks of Christianity are full of those who compare and would love to control and manipulate you so you will become as miserable as they are. After all, if they are determined to be "cramped, somber, dull, and listless," then they expect you to be that way, too. "Misery loves company" is the legalists' unspoken motto, though they never admit it.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.