amy ruth, writer

scribbles from a bean bag

Freedom That’s Not Really Freedom At All

cheese friesI’ve been fooled. Over and over and over again.  I’ve been fooled by the fraud of freedom.

This fraud sucks me in. Trips me up. Woos the very seedling of my brokenness.

It whispers seductively,

“Do what you want,

when you want,

however you want.

If it feels good, you do it.” 

(Like eating the entire plate of cheese fries. Wink. Wink.)

And I’ve heard it’s whispers for a very long time.

1988 convertible girl

1988: Stylin’ in the Rabbit convertible with the permed hair and crunchy bangs

I remember turning 16. It was a big year for me.

Sixteen meant a car with the license to drive.

Sixteen meant I could finally date.

Sixteen meant I had a smidge more unsupervised wiggle room to pursue this fraudulent freedom.

Even now 25 YEARS LATER, as I write with my 2-year-old on the floor playing with his trains, I fight frustration and crankiness with having to stop what I want to do and help him. “Ugh, I just want a free moment to finish this thought!”

Even now with my 3rd delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie in hand (don’t judge), I wrestle with the fraudulent freedom that says, “Go ahead, eat another. Feel free.”

Even now, I can feel a breeze of freedom when I buy that trendy shirt at TJ Maxx just because I want it.

Even now, I can be fooled to believe that freedom comes when I have an unhindered license to do what I want.

Through our #messylove study, I wonder if at the origination of Gomer’s unfaithfulness she listened to this fraudulent freedom,

“You are trapped within this marriage to Hosea. Freedom is waiting for you on the others side of your front door. Go. Go. Go and pursue love with other men. Leave all your cares (and needy children) behind. You ought to live free.”

I wonder if this foolishness pushed Gomer out the door with hopes high and heart relieved.

Until…until she realized that this freedom was really no freedom at all. Until she was so deep in debt, she had to be sold as a slave. Dirty, used, regretful, hopeless.  That’s were fraudulent freedom leads. Every. Single. Time.

But as the movie music swells, unfailing love buys her back to set her truly free (Hosea 3:1-3).

You see, I bet our girl Gomer would have a lot to say about freedom:

1. Freedom is NOT running around doing whatever I want to do. True freedom is FOUND running in the paths of God’s commands.

I run in the paths of Your commands, for You have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32

2. Freedom is NOT independence. True freedom is DEPENDENCE on the righteousness of Jesus.

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:16, 18, 22

3. Freedom is NOT a subjective truth. True freedom is ANCHORED in the absolute truth of Jesus.

Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32

4. Freedom is NOT being free of rules. True freedom is living within God’s guidelines of what is best for me.

You must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you. Hosea 3:3

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant place; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

5. Freedom is NOT attaining all my whims and fancies. True freedom is about living in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If Jesus sets you free, you will be free indeed! John 8:36

And God’s unfailing love is at the core.  He buys you back to set you free.

Are you living free?Hosea

Click HERE for other posts in this series.
Join me on TUESDAY as we dive into God’s love forgives.

1 Comment

  1. Really great thoughts on freedom, Amy… I’m struck by how freely Jesus has given it and continues to give it, yet the endless choices I make each day determine whether or not I live and walk in it. And I so want to live and walk in freedom! I enjoyed your post and will visit again. I found your blog through my friend, Deeann Beers, who shared your post on Facebook. I lived in Columbia years ago, such a special place, and now live in the Northern Virginia area. Happy to have found you!

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