In two days we will be celebrating Independence Day here in the United States. Since we were young, we have been taught to celebrate freedom. We are encouraged to both fight for our own freedom and for justice for all. This has caused a lot of questions about rights and values. As a nation, as an American culture, we are still continuing a conversations on what it means to “live free.”
As a Christian, we also are taught much about freedom. Paul, a follower of Jesus Christ, wrote the letter to the people of Galatians where he urged them to hold tightly to their freedom. In Galatians 5:13, he says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” We sometimes get confused that freedom leads to no limitations and the ability to do whatever we want. In fact, freedom instead gives us the opportunity to love one another, sometimes choosing good for others though it is difficult for our pride or our definition of “right.”
This the is importance of the Gospel particularly when it comes to serving in ministry. True freedom respects the autonomy of each individual to choose, but it also tries to give them the support and encouragement they may want and need as they make that decision. In Kenya, we try to live this principle in the way we treat our clients. Each person deserves respect and the dignity that comes with feeling in control of their lives. Though we provide educational tools and counseling, our clients are the one that essentially choose their freedom and their lives.
It is a privilege to be able to walk through that time with them and see them once again feel loved and empowered.