As a nation we just celebrated Independence Day and I suppose many of us took some time to pause to consider the freedoms we enjoy as a nation. Indeed, the ideas of liberty and freedom are tightly woven into the American culture. However, there is probably no philosophical or political idea as contentious as the concept of freedom. Political freedom and economic freedom or, as I’ve entitled my post, “Financial Freedom” is often what we think about when we think of freedom as Americans. In his book “Capitalism and Freedom” (1962), Milton Friedman argues that “economic freedom is an extremely important part of total freedom.” But what exactly is economic freedom and financial freedom?
When I was a teenager I set a goal to be “financially independent” by the age of 40. My thought process was if I’m financially independent no one could control me. I could do what I want, when I want, and how I wanted to do it. Boy, was I off track and obviously lost. Second Peter 2:19 points out the irony and folly of my thinking at the time. Although I wasn’t aware, the quest for freedom from God only drove me to slavery of sin and self. My whole concept of freedom was skewed. Galatians 5:13 says we are to use our freedom to serve others, not to indulge our own selfish desires.
So, if I were to “re-write” my boyhood goal to be “financially independent”, it might go something like this: Because Christ has died for my sins and FULLY paid the debt that I could not pay, I am free to generously give to others all that He has given me.