If you asked your friends or family how they defined “freedom” what would they say? Maybe something like…
“I can do anything I want,say whatever I want to say and no one can tell me what to do.”
Sounds selfish, even if you took it to mean that you would do things that wouldn’t harm or hurt you or other people, there would still be a lot of things that would be difficult to accomplish in reality.
Fear and guilt get in the way of freedom.
We may have guilt about the things we hadn’t done in our lives, or haven’t attended to and should. We can feel guilty about not spending more time with our family, or ourselves. We can feel guilty about what we said to someone, what we meant to say. It could be that the specter of guilt is there about severe things like cheating on your spouse, or short cutting things at work, or thousands of other things that accumulate over time.
Our fears get in the way of freedom. We have so many unspoken ones. Surely we may state that we are fearful of spiders or snakes or bears or sharks or something. We may have a fear of heights or flying. We could fear the dark or the unknown minute yet to come. There are the unspoken fears of emotion and weakness. Those fears that can stop us cold from “getting involved” with a someone, or getting involved with a situation. And then the compound as fears layer on top of fears. And the ultimate fear of death will play its own role.
Fear and guilt are real, and they stop us from that “freedom” we all wish for in many ways.
Can you imagine your life with no guilt, no fear? What would it be like? How would you find it?
Let me end with something that keeps me going; something in the face my life with cancer helps to calm my fears. “…there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18) “If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free” (John 8:36)