Freedom is the natural environment of humanity. Freedom is what makes us alive! Without freedom, we would be robots, slaves, automatons. The human spirit yearns for freedom, and it can only thrive when it is free.
Give a person freedom, and he may squander it. He may choose not to thrive nor flourish. He may use that freedom in a way that is detrimental to himself or to others. But constrain the human spirit, and it will certainly wither. Repress it, restrict it, oppress it, and it will never reach its potential.
Every victim of oppression longs for freedom. The deepest cry of the slave’s heart is to be free. Under every political system, there is a group of people that wants to be unshackled from some prohibition established by the ruling class. And they protest; and emigrate if need be; and maybe fight and risk their lives to obtain the freedom that God has bestowed on every one of us.
And yet, when those same people obtain the glorious freedom they have sought, they immediately begin to erect religious and legal structures designed to protect their worldview and lifestyle. But these structures place prohibitions on others who do not subscribe to the worldview or the lifestyle of the prevailing group. The outsiders, the nonconformists, the dissenters—those people are stifled and suppressed and even persecuted as the now entrenched “authorities” double down on the status quo. Take a penetrating look at any political structure or any religious institution and you will see that they all apply some degree of social pressure to make people conform to their worldview and standards of behavior.
The irony is that groups that place strictures on thought and behavior ultimately enslave themselves. In their attempt to secure freedom for themselves and oppress others, the adherents become intellectually and spiritually stagnant, dormant, lethargic.
This is a transcendent element of human nature, and it is almost certain that every one of us has done this exact thing at one time or another. Why is it that we yearn for freedom, yet we are so quick to deny that freedom to others? This is how I see it:
When we humans choose not to live by the divine influence that God offers us, our behavior becomes animalistic—self-centered, opportunistic, exploitative. In the physical sense, humans have much in common with animals, yet we can be more than mere beasts. If we reject the divine nature, our behavior will be purely bestial. If we want to achieve harmony with each other and with the world around us, we must be fueled by the divine life offered by God and exemplified by Jesus. Embracing the divine nature reveals the glorious humanity that the Creator envisioned.
The freedom you seek you must grant to others. Freedom is the foundation of human development. It is the fundamental component of life itself. Let’s endeavor to take the words from the American Liberty Bell (originally from the book of Leviticus), and make them a reality:
“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.”