A FALSE FREEDOM

“Being free means nothing other than being in love. And being in love means nothing other than being in God’s truth. People who love because they are made free by God’s truth are the most revolutionary people on earth. . .

. . .  God preserve us in love, so that we will not dream up a false idea of freedom.”

                                                                                                                                                -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

America and the world have become obsessed with the idea of freedom, yet have it falsely defined. The world views freedom as a person’s right to do as they please – as the freedom of choice – yet this is the reason freedom cannot be found, because it overlooks the central problem with humanity, which is our nature. We are beings which revolve around sin, and are deceived to believe it’s good. In our ‘freedom,’ we are slaves to ourselves and our sinful desires. Our ‘freedom’ really only allows us to live in our own selfishness and sinfulness rather than somebody else’s.

But what happens when we recognize something free of this sin nature, as well as someone able to show us how to free ourselves from it? This is exactly what Christ has come to do. Christ has lived the life that we have lived, yet was able to withstand sin. He was tempted for nearly 1000 hours straight, yet did not fall. Only He can show us how we can redefine our freedom.

The key to living in freedom is not to live for ourselves, because then we are only slaves to our own selfishness and wickedness, blindly seeing ourselves as wise or good. The key to freedom is to look completely away from ourselves and towards the One free of a sinful nature. Only if we look towards Him are we able to free ourselves of our human desires, and are we able to pursue a life of selfless devotion to the One who has conquered sin, and also knows us better than we know ourselves. As we focus on the One who remained free of a sinful nature can we see unrestricted freedom, as well as His potential for us, which is a potential we never thought possible before.

In changing our definition of freedom, we are able to see that our God is the god of infinite possibilities. All we have to do to see them is open our eyes to Him and close our eyes to the world. Our true potential rests in the vision of an eternal perspective, and the recognition of the one source that can truly free us – even from ourselves.

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GOD I CALL TO YOU (by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

I read this today in my quiet time, out of I Want to Live These Days With You, a devotional by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

God, I call to you in the early morning;
help me pray and gather my thoughts;
I cannot do it alone.

In me it is dark, but with you there is light.
I am lonely, but you do not leave me.
I am faint-hearted, but with you there is help.
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience.
I do not understand your ways,
but you know the right way for me.

Father in heaven,
Praise and thanks be to you for the rest of the night.
Praise and thans be to you for the new day.
Praise and thanks be to you for all your love and faithfulness in my past life.
You have shown me many good things;
let me now also accept hard things from your hand.
You will not place on me more than I can bear.
You make all things serve your children for the best.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer