Drunk on Freedom

I think this is what we are sometimes.

I am talking specifically about those of us who are Christian, although this could apply to anyone who has abused a newfound freedom, whether newly graduated, newly "legal" or newly single.

In the case of Christians, there comes a point in our Christian lives when we learn what it means to be saved by Grace, and not by what we do or what rules we follow. With this knowledge comes responsibility, since we are expected not to cause the "little ones" to stumble and not to boast in anything but Christ. We are expected to treat this freedom with humility and sensitivity to those around us, like a new driver is expected to drive safely or a drinker is expected to "enjoy _______ responsibly".

But too often we get drunk on our freedom, flying around the corners in our freedom vehicles, almost (or completely) oblivious to those crossing streets in front of us or in the car with us. We (by "we", I mean "I") deride others for daring to be on the street in front of us, or for being audacious enough to ask us to slow down just a bit. Eventually, so much evil happens because of our freedom, that people become convinced the whole deal is wrong. They become convinced that God couldn't mean what He said about freedom, because of all the horrible things that happen because of it. They want to take our keys, lock us up, ground us forever. And they aren't entirely wrong.

"Get wisdom, get understanding" -Proverbs 4:5

"The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and His tongue speaks what is just" -Psalm 37:30

Now, I'm not claiming to be righteous, but I have been blessed with many men (and women) in my life whom I would consider righteous, and have obtained at least a little wisdom from them. This is what they have told me.

Consider others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3). Don't ever put your freedom before the good of those around you. If there is something you do that may cause another to stumble, don't wave it in their faces. Don't speak about it proudly among your friends, because you aren't supposed to speak of ANYTHING pridefully.

Instead, use discretion. If you are around friends who are of the same mind, who are able to drink without getting drunk and without stumbling spiritually, or able to dance without becoming immoral, then have fun! Know that not everyone is where you are in that, and live accordingly. Love them more than you love your freedom. That's what Jesus did, taking on the prison of full humanity (which is what it was, compared to being our Limitless God) and ultimately death, in order to reconcile us to Him.

Don't be given to legalism, but be righteous and speak wisdom. In this way, you can recommend that one doesn't drink, and that another does so in moderation and enjoyment, to the glory and honor of Christ.

Don't fall in with those who have sacrificed their freedom for a black-and-white Christianity. Following Christ is a full-color, 1080p HD experience, my friends. Savor every moment, and fall completely in love with Christ, instead of begrudgingly accepting a new law (because becoming a slave to a law will ultimately taint your view of God). He wants us to be sons and daughters of God, and He wants us to grow up strong, and He wants to rejoice in giving us new, beautiful freedoms and strong, timely advice and commands. He wants a love relationship, in every way, with all of our hearts, as we mature and become complete, not lacking anything.

Live by the spirit, and by grace. Live in love and truth. Live in humility, with a heart in tune to those around you. Don't drink if it will hurt others. Don't dance where it will cause others to stumble. Make the way easy for the young ones. They will face tougher times and deeper lessons soon enough. When the time comes to partake in drink, or dance, enjoy every moment, knowing that you are doing so to the glory of God.

Also, to the younger believers who may read this... don't be too prideful to admit that you are among the younger. There is no shame in being young, only in failing consistently to grow up. Be content with whatever your current limitations are, whether you still struggle with alcoholism or lust or whatever. Seek wisdom with humility, and work to become the type of Christian/person you would admire.


Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Yes! I love my 'freedom vehicle' and definately should have been given a DUI or two. Great post.

leanna jackson said...

jesus is way better than 1080p HD!!