I heard the author of the book "Smart Sex" on the radio the other day. I liked what she had to say about personal freedom. She said that the goal of everyone in our culture is to be unencumbered - that is, we seek to have as few restrictions on us as possible. We don't want anyone telling us what to do about our sex life or anything for that matter.
As I thought about that, I had to agree. Even my discussion below about casual dress is about our desire to be free of anyone telling us how to dress. We want as much personal freedom as possible with as few people telling us what to do as possible.
But the desire for personal freedom flies in the face of what it means to follow Jesus. There's not one part of our life that is "free" from the call of God. The true follower makes it their goal to give up their personal agenda/desire for personal freedom to align themselves with God's design.
The Christian message is a tough "sell" when seen in this light. Why would anyone want to give up their agenda for God's?
The answer lies in realizing what true freedom is. It is a myth to believe that we are free when we throw off all encumbrances and call all of our own shots in life. True freedom comes when we submit ourselves to someone who cares for us and knows more than we do. How free are we when we reject the care and wisdom of physicians? How free is a child when she rejects the care and wisdom of her parents? How free are we when we reject the care and wisdom of a tour guide in an unknown land? Rejecting the care of these people can lead to great pain and even death.
In the same way, throwing off the "shackles" of God is not freedom but bondage. No one cares for us more and no one is wiser than God. I fear for what people will need to experience in life before they understand this. But, unfortunately, sometimes experience is the only way we learn. Hopefully there will be someone there to help us when we "hit the wall" and start looking for a better way.