What it Means to be Free

Thu July 4, 2019 · Comments

My nephew and I were sitting on the cement steps outside my parents' home talking about life –  and birthdays.

Cyrus had begun to comprehend what a birthday is and was anxiously awaiting the next day, when family and presents were certain to arrive.

I asked, "Cyrus, how old are you today?"

"Two," he answered.

"And how old will you be tomorrow?"

"Free!" he squealed. A wide smile stretched across his freckled face.

"Wow. You are getting so big!" I replied. "How old will you be the next day?"

"Two," he said matter-of-factly.

Faulty Thinking About Freedom

I find myself applying Cyrus' faulty line of thinking to my Christian life. I revert to living based on what used to be true about me.

Spiritually speaking, I once was dead. I had no hope. I was enslaved by sin.

But God stepped in. He sent His son, Jesus, to set me free from this kind of slavery. Jesus died on a cross, was buried and then He came back to life. His death was the payment needed to purchase my freedom.

When I placed my faith and trust in what Jesus did, my identity, life and future dramatically changed.

In the Bible, the Book of Ephesians lists many of the good things that are now true for every follower of Jesus, including me. I am:

  • Alive though I was once dead in my sin
  • Blessed
  • Chosen
  • Adopted
  • Forgiven
  • Free


Because of who Jesus is and what He did, I am free.

What True Freedom Is

The benefits of freedom are mine for the taking. But like my nephew Cyrus, I often live in yesterday. Turning back to who I used to be rather than embracing the freedom I have been given in Christ, I revert to living like a slave. I live under rules and burdens and expectations from which Jesus, my Savior, has already set me free.

To experience the freedom that is in front of me, I need a reminder.

In Galatians 5:1 (New International Version), I read, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

As our country turns its attention to freedom this Independence Day, take time to think through the answers to the following questions. They just may unleash a fresh wave of freedom in your heart and life.

  1. What does freedom in Christ look like in my life?
  2. In what ways am I enslaving myself?
  3. What do I do out of habit or tradition to please other people's ideas of freedom that is counter to the true freedom that I have in Christ?


I told my nephew that day how birthdays really work — that the numbers continue to add as the years go by. They are never taken away.

Tomorrow, I agreed, he would be three. In time, he would be four.

His eyes grew wide with wonder. His world shifted, and a different kind of smile emerged on his face.

Next Steps to Freedom: Read "Why We Struggle Living in Freedom" and "The Forgiveness God Offers."

Story provided by KATIE CROFT of Cru.org

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