MM00047 The responsibility of freedom
Mentoring Manna: The responsibility of freedom
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Galatians 5:13 “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” It seems that our modern culture has embraced a distorted idea of freedom that demands opportunity without accountability and defines liberty as license. However, this type of freedom will always end in the loss of freedom. Why? Because freedom cannot be maintained where responsibility is ignored. It is common sense that freedom does not mean we are no longer responsible to work, pay our bills, to discipline our children, or to obey the law. Freedom is not the absence of responsibility. On the contrary, freedom requires of us more responsibility than we ever had under slavery. Freedom demands more laws than slavery. It demands more self-control. It demands more self-discipline. It requires us to be self-managed. This is commonly seen when a person moves from being an employee to owning his own business. The work of an employee is managed by his or her employer. However, once a person is free to start his own business, the personal responsibility level greatly increases. They must now manage other people beside themselves, pay the bills, write the checks, sign the bank loan, maintain the equipment, do the paperwork, and work many more hours than before without pay. If a self-employed person is not able to manage themselves or their business responsibly, they will lose the freedom to have their own business. Freedom also requires that we manage our environment. We must be responsible for what we allow in our home, in our office, in our cars, and into our lives. Failure to do so can open the door to destructive influences that will eventually bring us back into slavery to sin. Freedom requires that we manage our resources. If we spend more than we earn, we become a slave to debt. If we are not diligent to maintain what we have, we will lose them through decay. Freedom requires us to take responsibility for the fulfillment of our own destiny. We must be self-motivated and self-initiated to seize the opportunities that God places before us. Free people do not have masters to make them do what they are unmotivated to do. Eventually a lazy man will come into poverty and lose the freedom of self-sufficiency. Freedom is also the responsibility to do what is right rather than what we want to do. Freedom carries the responsibility to help others find freedom in their own lives. Freedom also carries the responsibility to serve others in love. Through this we encourage one another with good will and ease the burden of oppression. Ignoring responsibility may give us the temporary illusion of an easier life, but in the end it will lead to the loss of freedom. True and lasting freedom is experienced only when we embrace the responsibility that comes with it.
Application: How do we experience greater freedom in our lives? By being responsible with the freedom we already have. As teenagers, employees, and those in ministry we discover that if we are responsible with what we have been given, we win the favor of those in authority and freedom is usually expanded. However, if we are irresponsible, then the freedom that we had can be taken away. There is no such thing as true freedom without responsibility and accountability. Become a responsible person. Begin with good self-management. Make the hard decisions when no one else is watching. Be faithful in the duties and responsibilities assigned to you. Slaves only do what is required of them. Don’t worry about what someone else is doing or not doing. Don’t let someone else’s mindset of slavery keep you from thinking like a free person or like one who has a destiny to fulfill. Your freedom will endure and even increase if you will embrace the responsibility that goes with it.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I choose embrace a Scriptural view of freedom. I reject a concept of freedom that does not embrace accountability and responsibility. I choose to be self-motivated and self-managed. I choose to use my freedom to make choices that bless others. I choose to make the hard decisions required of me even when no one else is watching. As I do, I thank You that I will continue to enjoy and prosper in this freedom. I thank You for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Grace Fellowship P.O. Box 260 Rusk, Texas 75785 (903) 683-6550
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