332. Freedom To vs Freedom From

332. Freedom To vs Freedom From

Recently, I read this one author comparing the difference between “Freedom to” and “Freedom from”. According to him, when we are younger, we tend to gravitate toward “Freedom to”, which is doing whatever we want to do. It is certainly exciting but can be exhausting, as many of such choices require money, time, and energy without leaving us with anything that is worthwhile or lasting.

But he also argued that as we get older, we tend to gravitate toward “Freedom from”. This freedom is seeking to be freed from unwanted requirements, pleasing others, and interruptions. It is freedom “from” life’s stressors. It is less exciting, but inspires a more durable motivation.

Jesus came to give us “freedom” and that freedom is not “freedom to” but “freedom from”. He promised freedom from the heavy burdens of trying to please God through religious means and impress others. In short, Jesus gave us freedom “from” sin. But many Christians still crave “freedom to” and feel jealous of people in the world enjoying their “freedom to”. Instead, we are to point them to “freedom from” that is ultimately found in following Jesus.

For example, serving feels like a sacrifice, but it is “freedom from” self-centredness. Prayer feels like a labor, but it is “freedom from” worries. Worship feels like a burden, but it is “freedom from” pride. Giving feels like a waste, but it is “freedom from” greed. Everything we do to follow Jesus is the path to freedom, the right kind of freedom.

As the author pointed out, I also feel that maturing as Jesus followers can be measured by what we love more: “Freedom to” or “Freedom from”. Unless we view what we do for Jesus as a path to genuine freedom, it would be difficult to follow him gladly. Above all, it will negative impact our longing for heaven because heaven is the ultimate reality of “freedom from” everything that gets in the way of intimate relationship with God and expressing him in our lives.