A Life of Freedom
Red had been in prison as long as he could remember. He was, in his words, institutionalized. When he finally made parole, he didn’t quite know what to do with his freedom; he even submitted to the authority of people who had none because he was so used to submission. It took him a lot of time to learn how to be free.
That storyline from The Shawshank Redemption is a good picture of our spiritual liberation. Even though we crave freedom, most of us don’t know how to be free. Jesus has released us from captivity, but we continue to submit to enslaving regulations and the words of false authorities. We don’t step into the life we were designed to live.
Scripture assures us that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV). We know that doesn’t mean licentiousness; scripture is just as clear about that. But it does mean we can live in a lightness of spirit and without the pressure of conforming to unreachable standards. In other words, our hearts can be at rest.
Don’t accept anything less than that. Any other gospel isn’t a gospel at all. “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36 NLT). It may take some time to learn how to be free, and it may require some boldness around others who don’t like your freedom. Be free anyway. You are bound neither by sin nor by laws against it. You are a new creature with a new life—beyond captivity.