Living in a material and misinformation world is very challenging these days. One of the greatest challenges is dealing with everyday life and living issues while growing up as a child, developing into an adolescent, becoming an adult, and growing old. These everyday issues involve your “freedom” of choices and the consequences from those choices. Presumably, you have your “freedom” to choose just about anything, but there is little or no guidance for you on how to choose or not to choose. Consciously or unconsciously, you also have created many shackles that not only take away your “freedom” but also make your life miserable and unhappy
Your free will is more than just your “freedom” of choices: it is your inner freedom that reflects your whole being in the image of God. That means whatever you choose to do should not only reflect the goodness of God but also come from Him. Your inner freedom gives you inner peace to live a life of hope and joy.
However, given that you are as imperfect as everybody else, and that you are living in your flesh, your everyday free will, tainted by sin inherent in all humans, is no longer your “freedom” but your “bondage” to your flesh that tells you to do all the wrong things instead of the right and righteous ones.
Illustrations for Reflections
· On June 24, 2022. the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the constitutional right to an abortion.
If you are a woman, you may think you have your “freedom” to end your pregnancy because it is your body.
But what about the baby inside your body? It does not have the right to live because it is inside your body. Why do you want to end your pregnancy? Other than health or rape, you may want an abortion due to finance, work, and relationship issues.
So, your “freedom” then becomes your “bondage” to your desires of your flesh.
· Jenifer Bricker was an infant born without her legs. Her parents had their “freedom” to abandon her at the hospital due to their anticipated financial implications as well as their unending responsibility in taking care of their deformed baby. On the other hand, Sharon and Gerald Bricker had their “freedom” to adopt Jennifer into their family with their three sons to help the baby with no legs.
Despite her physical disability, Jennifer's childhood was wonderful. Her adoptive parents were the best parents she could have asked for.
At the age of 10, Jennifer Bricker took part in the Junior Olympics and began her acrobat and aerialist career despite her deformity. Jennifer even focused her passion and her attention on another Olympian gymnast Dominique Moceanu, who won her gold medal as a minor in 1996.
Dominique Moceanu became Jennifer’s idol. They began to know each other and became great friends. Dominique once said: "I never imagined she would do all of these sports without having her legs.”
Surprisingly, Jennifer Bricker found out later that Domonique Morceanu was actually her sister, and that her own biological parents were Dumitru and Camilia Moceanu. Finally, they became reunited, but Jennifer was unable to see Dumitru who passed away before the family reunion.
The “freedom” of Jennifer’s biological parents to abandon her came with their “bondage” of guilt and remorse. On the contrary, Jennifer Bricker’s adoptive parents had their inner freedom of love and compassion to adopt her to help and train her even with no limbs to become a successful acrobat.
· The 39-year-old Ricky Naputi, who weighed nearly 900 pounds, died in November 2012. He had been bed-ridden for 5 years prior to his demise.
So, Ricky’s “freedom” to eat to satisfy the cravings of his flesh led to his “bondage” to overeating, obesity, and ultimately immobility for 5 years.
“Freedom” from the flesh is different from inner freedom, which is spiritual freedom. The former is tainted by sins and desires, while the latter is blessed and inspired by the Spirit of God.
FREEDOM with BONDAGE shows you how to "free" yourself from your bondage to the flesh.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau