One of the most common hesitancies I hear from people who are not yet ready to become a Christian is, “I don’t want to lose my freedom. I can’t imagine giving up everything I like to do in order to submit to some sort of higher power with a bunch of rules.”
The problem is, this assumption about Christianity is based on a fallacy of freedom.
Throughout Scripture—particularly in the writings of Paul—we read a lot about the freedom that is provided through Christ.
For example, in Galatians 5:13 Paul writes, “You were called to be free, but don’t use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature.”
In fact, the entire fifth chapter leading up to this verse is about freedom.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
The reality is this: when we live our lives as God has designed us to live our lives, we don’t lose freedom. We actually become freer than we have ever been before.
Think about it: You really like to drink? You go out every night and party? Or you have a casual drink before bed every single night? You think you’re just exercising your freedom until one day you realize, “I don’t remember the last day I didn’t have a drink.” And we call that freedom?
What about shopping? The way of the world says, “You need everything you see.” If it’s new, you need it. If it’s beautiful, buy it. If it’s on sale, you can’t afford not to get it. And why not? You’re an adult. You can make adult decisions to buy whatever you want. You make your own money. It’s your freedom… until it’s not. Until one day you realize, “I don’t remember the last time I didn’t give in to my impulse to buy something.”
I could go on and on and on. We all have our vices, those things we struggle with and yet we justify by saying, “It’s not that big a deal. I’ve got the freedom to do it, so why not?”
And yes, you do have the freedom to do it… for a while… until you realize that what the world has defined as “freedom” has gradually become something that is keeping you captive. We tell ourselves this lie that we aren’t harming anyone, not realizing the real harm these things are doing to our true freedom in Christ.
That’s why Paul says, “Don’t use your freedom to indulge in sinful nature.” Because when we do, we are actually losing what we call freedom without even knowing it.
However, when we do decide to commit our lives to Jesus Christ, and to live by God’s set of rules, we don’t lose freedom, we gain it! When we decide to live by God’s rules, we open ourselves to the possibilities of living the fullest life possible—the life that God has designed for us to live from the beginning.
When you say, “Ok, God, I’m going to start living my life like you want me to, and not like I want me to…” then you actually might start seeing more money in your bank account—NOT because God directly blesses you with finances for being good—but because you cut yourself loose from your addiction to buying everything, or you cut yourself loose from drinking so much, or you cut yourself loose from the pressure to always look better than your neighbor!
Living life as God intends actually gives you more freedom to be YOU.
To those who are still hesitant to give up their “freedom” I say, “Just try it. Give God’s way of life a ‘test run,’ even if it’s just to see the pragmatic results it will have on your life. Just try it out and let me know what you think afterward.”
I guarantee you will feel freer than you have ever felt before.