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How is a Christian 'Free'?

by Gemma Coates - 18 April 2020

"As I sit here in the window of this cottage I can see a sailboat skimming silently along the horizon. It is a beautiful image of freedom. But the freedom of the sailboat to move so swiftly and beautifully is the result of obedience to laws. The builder of the boat had to know the proper ratio of beam to keel and mast. The one who sails the boat obeys the rules of sailing. A ship tacking against the wind moves deviously, but when she runs with a strong tide or a following wind she takes to herself the power of tide and wind and they become her own. She is doing the thing she was made for."
Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be A Woman

Elisabeth Elliot wrote this in her book with a different audience and another purpose in mind. But I was thinking about this quote in the light of our own Christian lives. What does it mean to be free in Christ? How can a Christian be free? Don't they follow laws? How is that freedom?

I recognise that some people may have had unnecessary rules and legalities thrust upon them in their experiences of religion. This is not what I am referring to and it is certainly not what God wants. His heart is for people to be free, not burdened; lifted, not oppressed.

We have all been created for a purpose by the Creator God. It is only when we live for what we have been made for that we are truly free. Many people are owned by one thing or another. They may not even realise it. Alcohol, lying, television, possessions, even our jobs or careers are examples. Such things can take a tight hold on our lives that we become slaves to them. In turn, this can have such negative effects on us, on our relationships, on our mental well-being, on us physically. But we can be free in Christ. Free to live in the purpose that we were made for, designed by our Creator God.

As the sailboat moves swiftly across the water, she is following the laws that are needed for such a grand movement. The laws don't work against her but compliment her for who she is and what she was made for. There is no chaos or confusion. There is only joy, delight, and satisfaction. When we give our lives to Christ, there we too will be free. Free to be who we are meant to be. It is in Him alone where we will find true joy, a peace that passes all understanding, and fulfilment that no one else can provide.