That’s what Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Galatia (Galatians 5:1). It sounds like the most obvious statement ever. What else could we be set free for, if not freedom?
I think Paul was onto something, though—and not just for the Galatian church in the first century. It seems like we often struggle to fully live into the freedom that is available to us. Freedom is wonderful, but it’s also daunting. Freedom implies a release from confines and rules, from structures that keep us closed in. But those confines and rules and structures can also provide us with a sense of order and control. When they’re removed, we can feel like we’re flailing, insecure, out of control.
That’s why I think that one little preposition in Paul’s sentence is so important: for. Real freedom isn’t just freedom from something; it’s freedom for something. It’s not just being released from imprisonment of whatever kind; it’s being released for growth, life, and flourishing.
At Rock Recovery, we talk a lot about freedom. We talk about freedom from disordered eating. But what we want for our clients is more than just freedom from. We want them to experience freedom from disordered eating so that they can experience freedom for all that life has for them, and all that they have to bring to the world. We want them to experience freedom for enjoying the goodness of food as a source of pleasure and as fuel for their bodies to do all the wonderful things their bodies can do. We want them to experience freedom for healthy relationships. Freedom for meaningful work that utilizes their gifts and talents. Freedom for a joyful relationship with their Creator.
It’s for freedom that we’ve been set free. Where might you be experiencing an invitation to move into greater freedom—not just freedom from, but freedom for all that God has made you to be?