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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Your Master Called Freedom

My grandfather used to say “Be careful that your freedoms don’t become your master.”

In this July 4th holiday season, I wanted to bring to light a quote that has everything to do with your freedoms. This country enjoys freedoms that are the distant envy of other countries and some freedoms that others pray never embeds itself within their borders or their home. I was fourteen years old when I heard this ironic yet enlightening anvil of wisdom and unfortunately saw the tragic consequences of not heeding such poignant advice. It was an eye opening statement that helped me reconsider my youthful definition of freedom.

Let me illustrate this with a story of a friend of mine, for the sake of anonymity, we will call him ‘Willy”. Willy had just turned 21 and he was spending the summer at his relative’s home which was near my grandfather’s house where I spent my childhood summers. Willy was one of the most natural basketball talents that you would ever witness. Dunking effortlessly, shooting 3-pointers like they were lay-ups and moves as smooth as silk dribbling the ball; he was truly the Lebron James our little home town. Willy was working with my grandfather this particular summer during his college break and at lunch we were discussing our plans for the evening. Willy was excited that now he was free to drink alcohol, legally, and he was going to go out with some friends to celebrate his birthday and his new found…freedom. My grandfather offered this quote to him and explained that although he was “free” to drink alcohol because of his age, he should reconsider whether it was something he really wanted to engage in with so much promise in his future.

Willy politely dismissed the warning and cited various people that we all knew, including his own dad, who drank and his hopes that it would help usher in his manhood and redefine his peer group. My grandfather further elaborated on his quote highlighting factually that each of the people that Willy mentioned had been unable to stop their drinking thus far. Careful not to spread stories of anyone’s detriment, my grandfather encouraged Willy to ask each of his mentioned “idols” one question; 'what was the worst thing that they had done, because of their drinking?' He insisted that Willy should ask before he began drinking. I am not sure if Willy ever asked or what happened that night, because Willy never showed up for work again, but what I do know is that he was eventually kicked off of the basketball team and out of college due to issues that were rooted…in his drinking problem.

Here is what my grandfather knew, just because you can do something, doesn’t make it a good thing to do especially in the absence of moderation. So many people defend their ability to get involved with an activity or a vise (usually addictive ones) as a freedom, not understanding that once you are engaged in it, you become bound to do what you felt so “free” to do, but now can’t get “free” from it. What about you, is there something in your life that has you bound? Is there something that you should exercise your freedom to say “no” to, versus your freedom to indulge? My prayer is that you do, as I do when I apply my grandfather’s quote introspectively. Question the things you do, if one seems to be a challenge, try to stop doing it for 30 days straight. If you can great, maybe there is no issue, but if not, maybe you should seek help from experienced counsel, considering the wisdom in John 8:32, so you can become free from it. Also remember that God is never so far that He cannot save and He is closer than you think…waiting for you to call on Him. Happy 4th of July, may God bless those who have sacrificed so that we as a nation can be free. Be truly free and be blessed!


  1. Great post. Freedom must be accompanied with conscience and discipline.

  2. I truely enjoy reading each and every post you write. I look forward to what's next. Thank you for sharing!


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