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You Are Not Free

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You are not free. You may think that you are, but you are not. No one is. Everyone is bound to something. In fact, you cannot practice whatever freedom you have unless you are moored to something else. Consider gravity. It binds you to the earth. If it did not tug at your feet and shackle them to the ground, you would not be able to walk anywhere. Instead, you would float aimlessly away in whatever direction the winds decided to blow you. If it did not pull the weight of earth’s atmosphere against your body, the natural pressures inside of you would expand outward. Your body would rupture from the inside out. Without it’s bindings, you’d be a hot mess. Quite literally.

Like many things in the universe, this is paradoxical. Jesus sets us free from our chains of sin and death (Galatians 5:1), but in so doing binds us to himself. We are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Being moored to Jesus however, is the truest freedom we can have (John 8:36). It is in that freedom that we are able to move, and to live properly, and to enjoy life to its fullest. It is in those ties that we are free from the fetters of sin and eternal death. Our decisions become better. Our choices produce true fruit. Our perspective changes. We can walk wherever we wish without fear, so long as we are tethered to his good grace.

This paradoxical wisdom even applies to our relationships with each other once we become bound to Christ. Jesus teaches that unlike the hierarchies of the fallen world, the great among us will be our servants, and that the first among us will be slaves to everyone (Mark 10:35-45). He reinforces his teaching by explaining that he, even though he is divine, came to earth to serve others all the way to the point of giving his physical life (Mark 10:45). Since he is our model for Christian life, there must be wisdom in that kind of service, and wisdom always has benefits.

One of those benefits is freedom. Paul teaches us that we are not to use our freedom as an opportunity to feed our flesh, but instead to serve people (Galatians 5:13). In other words, the more we choose to serve, the less control our sinful natures have over our walk and perspective. In serving others, we become bound to something that affords us a higher quality freedom.

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