Monday, May 04, 2009

creative Freedom

Understanding godly freedom is a bit of a challenge for me. First, freedom has become a bit of a buzz word of sorts, like faith, grace, and the like. What comes to mind is listening to a person at church use freedom in a way that suggests that they are free even from God's commands. When I hear that, alarms go off in my head. They are not saying this directly of course, but certainly implying it, if not acting it out.

This gets to my point on freedom. I struggle much thinking that we have been freed by God through Jesus. All I hear are things like: obey my commands; stop living for the self; death comes through these actions; life comes through these. What exactly are we freed from?

The question is answered better by asking why we are freed. We are freed to use our freedom creatively, moving with the Spirit of God. I do not have to pull out a map anymore. With this specific action at this specific time I only need to keep two things in mind. First, Love God (do not hurt Him by breaking His heart, sinning if you will). Second, Love Others (do not hurt them by breaking their hearts, sinning if you will).

I believe there is weakness within me when it comes to living creatively with the freedom that has come upon me. Instead of being rigid, I am to walk in humble confidence knowing that Jesus rescued me and I am free to serve as best fit. All the rules and commands still are there, Jesus said so (Matthew 5:17-20), but I cannot and do not have to force myself into doing them. If I reduce the freedom, in fact strip it away, then I am back to depending on myself. If I focus on the unimaginable act of the Creator of the universe dying for me and raising to life for me, then I cannot help but act with Jesus.

And this creativity that I am stressing is where we the church make decisions that are not normal but supernatural. I get to decide how to show grace to my neighbor, or how to encourage my friend, or how to love a stranger. We need creative thinking if we are going to be free, otherwise we might as well go back to the road map, placing one foot in front of the other monotonously. And we are certainly prone to wander off anywhere on our own.

Creative actions are not super genius by any sort either, just actions that are unique to each one of us that reflect the way of God's Kingdom, not of the worlds. What are the ways that we can express Christ's commands in ways that are creative to our unique situations? I pray that I can dig deeper and that the church can as well so that we can use our freedom to its fullest, not to have it be wasted and abused.

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