Our Freedom Comes with Chains

The United States is seen as the most “free” and liberated country on earth. We can start our own business, buy our own homes, vote for whatever president we want, carry guns, and more. We can even break into a person’s home, fall down their stairs, get injured, and then sue the home owner and win! True story, I promise. This country is built on equal rights and free choice! It’s the ultimate play -ground for the “do whatever you want, be whoever you want” mentality.

Doesn’t sound like a bad deal right?

Well what if we aren’t really free? What if being free was actually slavery? What if having no rules to the game made the game no longer fun but chaos? Look at football for example; there are many rules to football and because of those rules the game can function. If we took the rules away from football we would have complete chaos! Both teams offensive and defensive players on the field tackling every which way, no refs to flag plays, unlimited amount of time to play the game, while fans run on the field fighting one another; how insane would this be?

Football-Field

So think about our rules, what type of rules do we have in our freedom? How do you use your freedom? You have the choice to do basically anything you wish. So we as people most of the time choose to do things that are selfish. Generally speaking we are selfish individuals. If we were not so selfish I believe we would have already conquered world hunger, there would be less homeless on our streets, and we would be much more loving and caring to our neighbors.

We would rather go shopping for ourselves knowing we have a ton of clothes in our closets. We would rather buy the latest video game or movie than take a friend out for a good meal. We don’t want to give what we’ve worked hard for. We don’t want anyone touching what we “own”, or what we “deserve”. We see homeless in our cities each and everyday, yet we go home to the comfort of our amazon purchases and slew of shoes and multiple attractions to keep our minds busy and pleased.

It would be crazy to think that because of our lack of wanting to give to others, people in our community suffer. Too much selfishness in one place and people end up losing even if they don’t deserve to lose.

Giving us freedom to do whatever we so desire may not be the best thing. I mean our freedom bears good intentions right? But if our morals or beliefs are selfish ones then does this really mean that our freedom to do what we want is a healthy thing? So what do we need to have with our freedom?

We need boundaries.

I think in our minds we should have boundaries to our freedom. If we don’t have boundaries to our freedom then our it can easily become the chains to our slavery.

Think about it.

You can go down the street and drink a beer if you are a certain age. That is the only requirement the law asks of you. I’ve gone to a bar, shown my ID and got completely intoxicated, and because I wasn’t sober minded I would make horrible decisions one after another. That’s generally how drunkenness works and why God says it is a sin to be a drunkard. He knows it’s not good for us. We can’t properly function or process things and usually end up making irrational decisions. You know what is funny? God knows we are going to be idiots. He knows we so desperately need His grace, love and mercy. Either way, we have that choice to take that action if we wish. The “Freedom” for me to make that choice of getting drunk had consumed me in more ways than one. It caused many other issues like ending friendships, putting friends in jeopardy with the law, driving drunk, and being a sleazy dude which ultimately led me to feeling hollow and worthless inside. I thank Jesus for pulling me out of that one.

What about surfing the Internet? You have the freedom to choose to surf the internet. What do more than 50% of men struggle with? Pornography, warping us to look at women as objects instead of human beings with beating hearts and beautiful minds. But hey it’s our free choice in the palm of our hands. But if we do not have boundaries, moral conviction that are strong and sustainable, then we are helplessly enslaved, by our choosing of freedom.

So where do we start?

We start with what we value in our lives. Do we value women and their minds and rights? Do we see them as God’s children, as equals or do you see them as a place to release our selfish sexual lustful desires? (Seeing them as a game, a simple catch and release? Something to just get off to and onto the next? Is this what freedom looks like? I use this harshness because this is the reality of what you are fighting against, or maybe you’re not fighting at all. Only your morals and values will dictate you from being free to touch or not to touch. So what are your morals and do they actually play a role in your daily life or are you simply influenced by the world around you? Are you free from your past? Do you choose to have the values that implement forgiving those who harm or cross you? Do you have the boundary in your life to say no to a drink? It’s your free choice to say yes or no to the glass of whiskey or to say yes to the entire bottle. Will you be that drunkard at the bar who has nothing to his name and no future ahead of him but to order yet another? Will you be the richest man on earth making all the money in the world and yet your riches enslave you?
Can we see that our freedom if not clearly understood alongside our morals and values could be extremely damaging to us, enslaving us to what we idolize in life? What freedoms do you have in your life that manipulate your moral code and are actually enslaving you today? What do these idols do to our minds? They can easily manipulate and justify the actions so that in our minds we don’t feel like we are doing anything wrong. We tell ourselves that we aren’t hurting anyone and we aren’t hurting ourselves, so what’s the problem? This is where conviction comes in, when after the fact of committing to your idol you know deep down in your heart that you are doing something wrong. Again, it is your free choice to decide whether you are going to listen to that conviction or you will continue justifying your idolization, that is leading to internal and external harm in your life.

Side note: For the people who are struggling with self-harm.

This was laid on my heart.

Do you know that you are loved? You know that you have the free choice to cut yourself but is your freedom that is manipulating your moral code to this slavery of self-harm? Do you somehow justify to your mind that you deserve this and that you are not worthy of love or anything other than the pain you feel inside. That is a lie and you want to know something great and beautiful?

You actually can be free from that choice.

You can be free from that pain and His name is Jesus. He died so you could live and He wants you to be free and have real freedom in Him. He will teach you to love yourself, to have a strong moral code, and to give you the strength to say “No” to self-harm. When you accept Him but cut again, which most likely will happen because this is a battle, He will forgive you and continue loving you and will even fight beside you to conquer and win this battle. That’s the beauty of trusting Jesus, that’s the beauty of true freedom. His name is Jesus.

I ask you all to think about your freedom and see it for what it often is: an opportunity to be enslaved if you do not have a strong foundation in your morals and values. That is why I trust Jesus and ask to be more like Him. His morals and values are unshakable and they lead me to love not only myself but those around me; not to be enslaved by alcohol, greed or porn. He urges me gently and graciously towards Him and His moral code and not to love my selfish desires so that I may avoid falling into slavery of selfish pursuits.

Showing 6 comments
  • Steve Jackson
    Reply

    I haven’t been on this in a while…. Maybe its because I thought I could do this on my own. But, im unhappy. I look at myself as that college kid that drinks and sleeps around. I do feel hollow and worthless. You are completely right Jake. This Is why I loved this site so much in the beginning and I let my work distract me from the thing that needs the most work: myself. I have no drive anymore and ive been pretty depressed on the inside lately. Im struggling to commit myself to a relationship and the past haunts me. This is the first step to recovery and taking back my life and this post is just the spark I need to light this match and blossom this fire. Thank you Jake. Ive obviously been struggling to head in the right direction on my own and I don’t exactly have the support I need to do that in a college atmosphere. This is what I need! Look forward to your next posts! It was good seeing you and Matt in Albany Thursday! Brought back the memory of when Matt first introduced me to this site two years ago. Im gonna need this and your music to get me through this next bump in the road of life.

    • jacobluhrs
      Reply

      Steve,
      you aren’t alone, we are all here and everyone who is on this site struggles with life’s obstacles. I’d say keep writing on the support wall and talking it out daily on the site. It’s good to write down your feelings or issues. Clear your mind and be able to see it on paper can be helpful. Also I would try and set some time each day to think of what it is that makes you depressed. Zero in on it and start to dissect it. Ask yourself why it makes you feel this way? Where does it come from? Anything from my past that is bringing this up? etc.. Start to figure it out. Depression is the enemy, we can’t combat the enemy if we don’t know what it looks like.
      God Bless!
      Jacob

  • Josh G.
    Reply

    This was a fantastic blog, Jake. Thank you.

    • jacobluhrs
      Reply

      Not a problem! Thanks for reading.

  • Amber
    Reply

    Wow, this really hit home for me. Great read. Really has me thinking about some of the choices I have made in life and continue to make on a daily basis.

  • Ginger Wesolowski
    Reply

    Jacob, this is Ginger from Great Clips, I cut your hair yesterday. What you have written here is amazing and so very true. This is what I’m trying to teach the girls I work with at our bible study. I have had many struggles over the years. A best friend that was horribly murdered by her 15 year old adopted son from Guatemala and my mother killed herself that same year, along with both of my grandparent passing away. It spiraled me into a deep dark depression and led to pill addiction and a very serious attempt to take my own life four years ago. It was along road to healing and Jesus held me the entire way .I’m in Celebrate recovery now, which is wonderful and try to show the love of Jesus to every client that sits in my chair. It was a divine appointment by God that you sat in my chair yesterday. Of course, I had no clue who you were. I mentioned it to my 19 year old son when I got home. He actually has your CD’s and he and his best friend (the biological son of my friend that was murdered) has seen you in concert in Ashevile and Riley NC. Those boys love that screaming Christian music, it really speaks to them. They are wonderful young men on fire for God in the midst of all the pain and struggles they have gone through. I asked you if you’d have lunch with my son as you were leaving the salon ( not realizing who you were). It is on my heart directly from the Holy Spirit that you do just that with my son and his best friend. They really have testimony and it would be great for them to share it with you and talk over the things of God. My cell number is 803-446-2626, text anytime. I’m also on facebook Ginger Wesolowski. I’d enjoy very much being a friend to you and your wife. Also, if your looking for a church please check out New Spring on bush river road. They have four services every Sunday. It’s a big church, no one will recognize you. You’d love it! They know every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters to God. They don’t judge you for tattoos, piercings or anything like that. You’d be very comfortable there. It’s a great place to worship. Also, to read my son’s testimony check out his website for the gap year mission trip, http://tannergoforth.theworldrace.org/?filename=nothing-is-impossible-with-god.
    God bless you for the work your doing for the kingdom of God. What a blessing to find out we’re on the same team! Hope to hear from you soon.

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