Freedom, Then

Freedom is not the absence of all restrictions.

But maybe you think about it that way. Maybe your neighbor does across the street. Or maybe, from time to time, we all slip back into this idea more at home in a Facebook newsfeed than the Bible.

We’ve recast freedom to mean that humans have the right to determine one’s selfhood. It’s the all-inclusive invitation extended to us from every possibility. 

The problem is that this doesn’t work.

This kind of freedom won’t make us happy, which is, after all, the whole goal. Freedom for freedom’s sake doesn’t interest anyone. Freedom is a ploy for pleasure, and the reason we’re so eager to sign up for its broken understanding is because, first, we assume authority is opposed to our pleasure, and two, we assume that we possess the ability to always choose what will make us happiest. 

In other words, buying the brand of freedom known as the absence of all restrictions requires that we think too little of God, and too highly of ourselves. 

Freedom, then, true freedom, must turn these requirements upside down.