Catholic Commute S01E12 6 Undeniable Truths about Freedom

Freedom isn't just about getting what you want

Beginning somewhere in the dawn of time (or maybe when William Wallace first painted his face blue), freedom has been an incredibly valuable thing.  We all know we want to be free.  We even fought wars over becoming free!  We are free…right?

Unfortunately today most people don’t really understand freedom.  Many think that freedom simply means “being able to do what I want to do.”  That’s not actually true.  If we simply do what we want to do, we won’t make it very far in this life.  Instead, we need something more.

True freedom requires saying “no” to our own disordered will.  True freedom requires us to think and discern about right and wrong.  While this sounds hard (and often is), it is also the only path to enjoying the real benefits of freedom.

If you want to find a deeper and more meaningful sense of freedom, I invite you to listen to today’s episode.

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Click “Continue Reading” to read the show notes!

6 Undeniable Truths about Freedom

 

Matthew Kelly: “Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is the strength of character to do what is good, true, noble, and right.”

 

Americans have a very twisted view of freedom.  Learning what freedom really means will change your view of your entire life.

 

  1. Freedom is not about doing what you want
    1. Words confusing, “want” – “Broccoli want” vs “Chocolate want.”
    2. Distorted Will – we don’t know what we really want
    3. Rose wanting to eat too much candy -> sick stomach
    4. Doing what our disordered will “wants” to do does not make us free
    5. Imagine any of the appetites that were set loose.  What would be the consequences?
    6. “If only there were no consequences!”
      1. This is silly, we live in the real world
      2. On a deeper level, if consequences were disconnected from actions, the action would lose all meaning
      3. Value defined by work
      4. Olympic gold medal for nothing
      5. part of value of Good marriage is the memory of shared effort.
  2. Sin destroys freedom
    1. Sin will enslave us – following God’s commands is key to staying free
    2. Exodus 20:2:  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
    3. When we sin, we become stuck.  Both in direct consequences and in what it does internally to us
    4. Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    5. There is a deeper level – we become what we do.
    6. We are our own parents – we give birth to our self
    7. Greater damage done to murderer than to murdered – it’s like cutting off my own arm.
    8. Without God’s help, we’re pretty stuck.  With God’s help, all wounds can be heal. All amputations can regrow – but it’s not easy
  3. Freedom is to be free to give yourself.
    1. We cannot serve other people well if we’ve cut off our own arm!
    2. Likewise, we cannot give great financial help to others if we ourselves are deep in debt. – we must have to give
    3. We are made to be loved, and to love – this echoes through all of our relationships
    4. I cannot give myself to my children if I am enslaved to anger – times when I really don’t want to get angry, and don’t even understand why I did get angry!
    5. I cannot give myself to my wife if I am enslaved to pornagraphy
    6. I cannot give myself to my family if I am enslaved by sloth (or laziness)
    7. Analogy: A car’s “purpose” is to move things around.  If the brake lines are not free to move as needed, then the car cannot do it’s purpose.  Now, who is to say that the car likes being a workhorse? Still, that IS it’s purpose. To love is our purpose.  It is what we were built for – what we were designed for.
  4. Jesus’s death is the source of freedom
    1. This is a very counter-cultural and counter-intuitional idea.
    2. Christ’s death creates for us a path to redemption, right?  What does this mean
    3. We see this in our own lives –
      1. when we let go of guilt (our guilt “dies”) then we are free to do what we know we should
      2. When I “die” to myself about the dishes, it frees me to love my wife the way I want to!
      3. When I “die” to myself about anger, then I am no longer enslaved by it.
    4. Romans 6:6-7: We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.
    5. Second level – Jesus’s death releases us from debt.
      1. Cannot give when we are deep in debt (some may have experienced the crushing weight of great debt)
      2. We all owed a great debt to God we could never pay
      3. Jesus paying that debt for us then releases us from the bondage
    6. Every time you look at a crucifix, remember that that image is not only a sign of great love, it is a sign of freedom
  5. Carrying our own crosses preserves our freedom
    1. Great, so now through the power of Christ’s death, we are free – how do we stay free?
    2. 1 Peter 5:8: Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
    3. Our own crosses make the means to keep our freedom
    4. Whenever I sense too great a love of food, alcohol, sex, fiction novels – anything, there is danger of me becoming less free.
      1. Story of latest Brian Sanderson book – very clean, very good fiction.  Yet, I devoured it so greatly I became enslaved to it.
      2. We can start building “little bondage” or “little debt” to many things in this life.
      3. Almost any earthly good can be twisted by the lion to become a source of bondage.
      4. Turn to heavenly goods!
      5. Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[g] consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust[h] consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    5. Fasting can break many lesser bonds
    6. Letting go of these things is a path to preserve freedom.
    7. Pick up your cross.  Fast and pray! This will keep you free to love God your creator and those around you he has placed
  6. Freedom is essential for happiness
    1. This brings the whole discussion back around to the start – Freedom is not getting what I want, but on a much deeper level, it is!
    2. Freedom allows me to get what I really want, not what I think i want.
    3. We are creatures of pleasure.  We confuse ourselves that pleasure is more important than happiness.  In so doing, we rob ourselves of what we most want!
    4. As we sink deeper into the bondage of sin, our ability to see clearly what it is we really wants becomes more and more clouded
    5. Sin makes you stupid!  It is undeniably true. Some of the most stupid things come right after I sin.  It’s like drunkenness. Some sort of combination of shame, ambition, greed, selfishness, and dark desire all swirl in front of my eyes and what I do next is rarely smart.
    6. So what do we each want?  Ask yourself to choose between these two:
      1. to be enslaved by sin doing stupid things in order to gain momentary pleasure at the cost of your happiness?  Enslaved to sink deeper and deeper into true misery from which you on your own power cannot escape?
      2. To allow the saving power of Christ Crucified to set you free from the great debt you have accrued, the bondage you have set for yourself.  To allow the true freedom that comes from embracing our own crosses to empower you to build a life based on love and true meaningful happiness?
      3. Time for all of us to stop whining to ourselves about “Christianity doesn’t let me do what I want!  It limits me!” Don’t believe the lie of the devil. Realize the truth about freedom, and what it can do for each of us!

 

6 Undeniable Truths about Freedom

  1. Freedom is not about doing what you want
  2. Sin destroys freedom
  3. Freedom is to be free to give yourself.
  4. Jesus’s death is the source of freedom
  5. Carrying our crosses preserves our freedom
  6. Freedom is essential for happiness

 

Matthew Kelly: “The notion of freedom proclaimed by the modern world is anti-discipline. But true freedom cannot be separated from discipline.”

 

Next episode – important but rarely discussed tenets of Christiantiy we all could benefit from

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