We may see ourselves as free to say whatever we wish and to do whatever we want, but do we have the liberty to say and do any and everything? Because we have the means and opportunity, this is not a reason to speak and act as we wish. Freedom should not be seen as our license to say whatever is possible or do whatever our resources will allow. Why? Because we have been liberated.
Our liberation through Christ creates the possibility of actually speaking and acting in wholly different ways and toward ultimate ends. It is because we have been liberated for divine purposes that our capacity to say and do whatever we wish has been tamed and is controlled by those purposes. We have been liberated for more than our freedom of choice or unregulated acts but for something much grander.
As an example, consider the freedom most of us have to post, tweet, or blog. Social media provides a wonderful opportunity to communicate and express ourselves, but it is equally an all-too-easy forum for us to scandalize, smear, and defame others, to trivialize and belittle sincere thoughts and opinions, or to grandstand and brag about what we do or who we know. It provides a megaphone for gossip and thoughtless words that can inflict serious damage. As people who have been set free from the scandal of our sin and the burden of our guilt, we are now to live toward higher words and for a different cause. Because of our calling, we are to measure our words, to season what we say and do with grace and mercy, and to bear many things for the sake of love.
We have been liberated in order to live fully and to love freely. For life, we have been liberated so that we might live beyond the trivializing and demoralizing effects of our society. We have been liberated from the slavery of our self-obsession and narcissistic tendencies. For love, we have been liberated so that we can speak and act in loving ways. Yes, there are times when hard words need to be spoken to a brother, but these words are to be spoken to the brother in love and not as a broadcast to the world.
We who have been liberated by the Son are free indeed … for life and love.