Real Freedom {and how we use it}

Freedom, in many ways, is a peculiar concept in our current times. Despite our considerable advancements in so many areas of life, we are still daily inundated with images, causes, issues where people are fighting for their freedom. And they vary in heartbreaking ways.

There is the refugee, a mother floating in water, holding her baby to her chest to keep its head above the surface. She has craved freedom.

There is the man who changes himself physically and biologically, uncertain of who or what he is. He has craved freedom.

There is the terminally sick woman who cannot face her own too-soon demise and orchestrates her own assisted suicide. She has craved freedom.

There are men, women and children globally fighting hard to change their lives, their circumstances, their identities because above all else we value and esteem freedom. We seek it, desire it, covet it, and while it comes in so many different guises, the song is the same. Freedom for the captives.

Freedom from slavery.

Freedom from tyranny.

Freedom from oppression.

Freedom from sickness.

Freedom from poverty.

Freedom from heartbreak.

Freedom. At any cost.

And oh how terrifyingly sobering and earth shattering it is to watch the refugees, the hungry, the confused, the angry, the hurting…the lost on their quest for the freedom they desire above all else.

And we shed tears for children washed up on beaches. Their freedom-quest cut short by life’s tragic circumstances.

And we simultaneously  mock and idolise the former sports star who lays the finding of his freedom in his gender, and changes it.

But truly there is only ever one freedom. A freedom that is written for eternity. A freedom that brings the sweet promise of everlasting victory over all the earth’s toils and troubles. A freedom that brings peace and love and joy and mercy into every possible situation. The dire, the absurd, the heart-breaking, the shocking, the sad.

mercy triumphsoverjudgement

Do you have this freedom?

You may not have freedom from disease or sickness.

You may not have freedom from loss or despair.

You may not have freedom from many, many trials in life.

But this freedom – the freedom that James mentions in Chapter 2, verse 12 is the real freedom by which every word and action should be defined.

The freedom that comes from knowing Christ.

By this freedom, we let our mouths and activity make choices.

By this freedom, we choose words that love and heal, encourage, build-up.

By this freedom, we give our money and resources, we share our time and our gifts.

This freedom is the freedom that truly brings good news to the poor and sets the captives free.

Your freedom today may look very different to someone else’s.

You may still be fighting poverty or sickness, broken relationships or heartaches and loss. You may fight for a lifetime to bring about change.

But your true freedom, your real freedom is eternal, promised, sealed, delivered and everlasting. Let this be the liberty that shapes our hearts and minds, our mouths and deeds.

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

Thoughts for Today

 

  1. Verses 12 and 13 look particularly at freedom, judgement and mercy. Take a look at these and consider the relationship between them; what is James telling us about how we view freedom, judgement and mercy?
  2. How should our eternal freedom affect what we do and say?
  3. How can we practise mercy in our every day lives? What circumstances can we find ourselves in where we must choose mercy over judgement?

Prayers for Today

 

  • Today pray that God will help you use your own freedoms to help others. Ask him to help you show mercy and kindness.

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