What is Freedom to Love?
Some would say that freedom to love is having no limitations or boundaries. To see everyone equally. Many would say that freedom to love is to give one's life for another. Well... I agree with both statements, but I would go further to say that freedom to love is not only an act or a response, but a lifestyle. Freedom is something that defines you. Something that makes you who you are.
As proud Americans, this month we celebrate the freedom that we have in this country. A freedom that many have believed in and have even given their lives for. People like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and many more that have led their generations with deep conviction and with a message of Freedom and Love.
All month long we will hear the word freedom and love, but are those attributes something that each of us truly possess?
If freedom is a lifestyle, then it should be evident in our lives.
Freedom is something that everyone should witness and see in and through us. John 13:35 says, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
I believe that we need to be reminded that there is freedom in love. But, with this understanding, we also need to realize that there is an opposite side of freedom – it is imprisonment. If you are not free, you are captive. If you cannot truly love God, yourself, or your neighbor, you are not truly free. There is an enemy whose main purpose is to, "...steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10). His intentions are to keep you imprisoned, captive, confined, and blinded of the true love that only comes from Christ.
Is a prisoner fully free if one arm or one leg is still in chains, but the rest of his body is not? Freedom is a complete process. Many of us only see the external side of freedom but fail to see that there is an internal side to freedom, as well.
Many men and women have died for the freedoms that we have in this country today, but only one man paid the ultimate price for the true life-changing freedom that we all can possess in Him. Freedom to love is not a right but a gift. Freedom to love is not a law but a lifestyle.
So what does freedom to love have to do with worship?
Think of freedom to love as three elements that only work when intertwined with one another. A fire is the same way. To start a fire, what three elements are needed? (It's ok to let your inner boy/girl scout take over right now). To create a fire, you need:
1. Oxygen 2. Heat 3. Fuel
If one element is missing, nothing works, and a fire cannot be started. The same applies to freedom, love, and worship. Love is worship, and worship is freedom. Each one coexists with one another. A person cannot truly worship if he is not free. A person can't truly be free if he cannot truly love. Worship is an expression of love that only a free heart can give. That is the kind of heart that God seeks after.
Galatians 5:13, "For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."
I finish with a powerful quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti that summarizes this topic best:
"Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. To love is not to ask for anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something, and it is only such love that can know freedom."
My challenge to you is to...
- Examine yourself. Ask God to search you, to set you free from anything that might be holding you back, and to rekindle the fire and love for God.
- Love your neighbor. Put yourself aside, and love on someone else. You will be surprised to see how much love you will begin to feel in your heart and how much compassion you will have.
- Repeat. The Christian life is not a sprint but a marathon of continuous improvement within ourselves. Never stop allowing God to work in you, and never stop loving. Having this attitude will result in a worship that will please God.