“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” With these famous words from the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, a small band of 13 colonies set in motion an “idea” of Liberty and Independence that many Americans and, really, many people throughout the world today use as their basis of what it means to be free. But as Christians, is this to be our line of thinking about liberty and freedom?
Christians are free from the bondage of sin and the “yoke” of the Law. Therefore, Christian liberty is not about demanding the “rights” that we have; rather it’s about being free to live to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13) and live a life of selflessness as modeled by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Romans 15:1-3). However, Christian liberty is not about flaunting our freedoms in such a way that infringes on another’s conscience either.
How about our finances? If we are free from the bondage of sin, does that mean we should be free from financial bondage (or debt) as well? Is there a line to be drawn when seeking financial freedom from debt? Last year about this same time I wrote another blog post titled “Financial Freedom” where I explained how as a young man I had a goal in life to be financially independent, yet little did I know that very goal was actually leading me to bondage.
So, am I saying that pursuing financial freedom automatically leads to bondage? Not necessarily. In this context of financial freedom over financial bondage, there is actually a transfer that needs to happen first. When we realize that the freedom we enjoy in Christ is because of the the “Great Transfer” (2 Corinthians 5:21), we start to understand that ALL belongs to Him (including our finances). Therefore, if we would live with an attitude that our finances belong to God and He is in control of them along with everything else, that should free us from the bondage of stress and worry over lack of finances. When we grasp this attitude, that is true financial freedom.