Referring to the war in Iraq, a network news reporter recently suggested that newly found freedom allows the Iraqi people to express themselves through suicide bombings and destruction. The concept of freedom within the bounds of responsibility to society was non-existent. Current culture seems to suggest that freedom of expression, whether by words or by bombs implies the ability to say or do anything you want, at any time and any place without restraint.
During medical school days, a much-admired teacher in our church illustrated the concept of freedom by comparing it to a game of tennis. The game of tennis finds its meaning and purpose only inside the lines on the court and rules in the rulebook.
Without boundary lines and rules, tennis would have no meaning and only create chaos. The boundaries and rules create the dynamics of the game. Is this not so in regards to the issue of "freedom"? Have we erased the boundary lines and thrown out the rules in the freedoms our society offers us, moving us closer and closer to chaos and destruction?
Spiritual freedom is equally important and beautifully expressed in the last stanza of the hymn "God Marked a Line and Told the Sea" by Thomas H. Troeger,
We are not free when we're confined
To every wish that sweeps the mind
But free when freely we accept
The sacred bounds that must be kept
The irony? True freedom (and happiness as well) can only be found through living in submission and commitment to the commands (boundary lines) of the eternal God.
Let us find freedom this week as we commit to live within the bounds of scripture, so perfectly modeled to us in the life of Jesus.
"To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31,32 NIV)