We are almost on the brink of celebrating the 71st Independence Day in India. We have progressed in many different areas whether its science, education, technology, agriculture and arms and ammunitions, after we got independence from the British rule. But when we sit down alone at times, do we have that sense of true freedom within us? Or do we have a sense of slavery to something that has been ruling us and ruining us?
The physical freedom is something very different and simple. But when we consider freedom in regards to our heart and mind then it makes the subject matter bit complicated. Before we see what freedom is, let’s see the opposite of it – ‘Bondage’.
Bondage is a state where a human loses the right to think and decide on his/her own. And when we realise that the things what we want to do we are not doing. but what we don’t want to do we end up doing, then we are under the slavery of some master that is controlling us for sure.
Ponder about it carefully.
I want to present THREE views of (True) Freedom for you to understand and experience in life.
First View –
I stumbled up this quote by Karl Rahner that really stirred me:
“How often I have found that we grow to maturity not by doing what we like, but by doing what we should. How true it is that not every ‘should’ is a compulsion, and not every ‘like’ is a high morality and true freedom.”
What a quote it is! Doing good actually has no rules against it but doing wrong things have. True Freedom starts by doing the things what we ‘should’ be doing because not every ‘like’ is a high morality and true freedom.
That is why the Bible instructs and encourages us:
“Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”
Because the time we become slack or weary doing what is right we tend to get into some kind of bondage.
Let me illustrate it for clear understanding:
A person likes to sleep till 10 o’clock but gets up at 7 o’clock because he needs to go to office. Here, he did what he ‘should’, not what he ‘liked’. The author says that by doing such things which we may not like, but should do… we grow. And if we do the opposite we get into a habit of laziness and after sometime we become a slave of those habits. We lose our freedom in truest sense.
Second View –
It is said, “Education enlightens us”. And when we are enlightened we get out of the darkness of ignorance and superstition. Because of education we come to know and understand the truth around us… We get to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong, what is truth and what is a lie. The same way when we educate ourselves about God and His characters we get to know the truth and right which ultimately gives us freedom. That is why the Bible says it right:
“Know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Let me give another example to validate the above quote…
When children lie to their parents, they feel guilty and keep telling lies to cover each of their previous lies. They feel culpable, they feel like in bondage till they get rid of that period or shackles soon… But when they understand the love of their parents and understand that their anger or correction are good for them (which is the truth) then they try to do the right thing from the beginning or tell the truth if they do something wrong and feel a sense of freedom.
Third View –
“In reality, if we are willing to consider it, we can distinguish between what it means for us to be free from something and to be free to do or be something. Freedom from and freedom to are two sides of the freedom coin.”
Absolutely! If we need to experience true freedom then it is important for us to know from what we need freedom and for what we need that freedom. When the children want freedom from parents and their disciplines they want that freedom for themselves to enjoy something which might not be correct for them at that stage. But instead of craving for a false freedom if they understand what the reason behind that discipline is then it will be easier for them to follow it and they enjoy obeying their parents in a sense of true freedom.
To conclude this article keeping three of my above views in mind I would like to say that, we experience true freedom when we have a change of heart knowing and understanding what is truth and right with a clear idea of the two sides of the freedom coin.