AUGUST 4, 2020
In a recent episode of ‘Steve Brown, Etc’, we discussed freedom. Specifically, we considered how we all extol the idea of freedom, but rarely do we ever talk about the […]
In a recent episode of ‘Steve Brown, Etc’, we discussed freedom. Specifically, we considered how we all extol the idea of freedom, but rarely do we ever talk about the reality of freedom.
Here’s what I mean…
Freedom Is Scary
If we have freedom to make a choice, then part-and-parcel with that is the understanding that we are responsible for those choices. Uh-oh.
Freedom Is Overwhelming
Ever scroll through Netflix trying to find something to watch? There are so many options, my brain just collapses and I go fetal. Which is to say, I just rewatch an Avengers movie for the 99th time. I need the kind of ‘freedom’ I have when I go to McDonald’s; “Pick anything you want – anything – from among these six choices.”
Freedom is Problematic
As Steve often points out, the freedom to make the right choice necessarily goes hand-in-hand with the freedom to set ourselves on fire. Sometimes the wrong choice is a chocolate-peanut butter-banana-bacon milkshake (please engrave that recipe on my tombstone). Sometimes the wrong choice is subjugation and genocide.
And yet, God clearly likes the idea of us having freedom. Real freedom. Right from the get-go, He tasked Adam with naming everything he saw. Why? This little naked dude doesn’t even have a belly button, but he’s in charge of branding all of creation? Okay…
And of course freedom, our ability to choose, is what shortly thereafter led to the whole thing going sideways. So why give us this option? As C.S. Lewis framed it:
“…free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Case For Christianity
Yes, freedom does feel daunting.
Yes, it often feels like McFreedom would be the better, safer option.
And yet, all of this scariness brings into sharp focus God’s character and plan. Because despite how we’ve misused the freedom we’ve been given, He’s right there bringing it all together for His ultimate purpose and glory…
“…we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.” Romans 8:28-29
So while we all hold gold medals in ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’, God has the ability and willingness to still weave it all together into something beautiful. In fact, He’s about this task as we speak. And that sets us free, knowing we can trust in God’s goodness since we can’t trust in our own. What’s more, when we trust in His grace and sovereignty, we’re not just free, we are “free indeed.”