We have the freedom to choose many things.
We have the freedom to choose to go to the gym and finish that hard workout, and we also have the freedom to sit on the couch eating Doritos and watching Netflix.
We have the freedom to love our family well by calling them often if they live far away, doing things for them, and supporting them, but we also have the freedom to neglect them and just occupy the same space, treating them almost as if they were strangers.
We have the freedom to marry our high-school sweetheart and raise a house full of children, but we also have the freedom to live our whole lives single and travel the world, never calling one place home.
In this country, the land of the free and home of the brave, we have SO MUCH FREEDOM. However, that freedom can be used to our benefit or our deficit, depending on what we do with it. For instance…
We have the freedom to bear arms, and sometimes that freedom is wonderful when used for protection against enemies or hunting some good ol’ deer out in the country, but other times that freedom is used to kill innocent people.
We have the freedom to live and work wherever we please, and there isn’t really a cap on how high our salary can go. However, this freedom can turn into a trap when we get so caught up in ‘working our way up the ladder’ that we neglect the things and people we truly care about.
Most importantly, we have the freedom to share our faith and hope in Jesus Christ openly, in almost any setting we please, yet we also have the freedom to remain silent, not speaking a word about our Lord to the people who most desperately need him.
My question to you is, what are you doing with your freedom?
Are you using your religious freedom rights to their full potential? We are blessed to live in a country where when we speak Jesus’ name, we aren’t taken to jail or killed, and most of the time our family doesn’t kick us out of the house. Typically, the biggest persecution Americans face is a slight look of ridicule or a mocking joke towards what we believe.
And trust me when I say that I have experienced persecution of that sort in the past, and it’s not always easy to brush off. Even if we don’t suffer any direct consequences from it, what that person said or how they reacted to my beliefs lingers in my mind. Yet, every time a new opportunity arises to share the hope that I have within me, I say ‘yes’ anyway. You might be wondering why I would do that, knowing that over and over again, unbelievers will typically shrug it off or think less of me. But the thing is, we have nothing to gain in this world. The following passage, Matthew 16:24-26, is one of my favorites in the Bible:
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
We have the freedom to take up the cross and live whole-heartedly for Jesus, but we also have the freedom to live a comfortable, “American dream” life.
What will you do with your freedom?