What Does the Bible Say about Freedom?
“Biblical freedom has a theological component which sets it apart. In the Bible, people are made free for a specific purpose: to serve God.”
It would seem like “serving God” is the last thing on our minds in today’s society. No matter who you are or what you are in life, most of us just want to be free and live life according to our own terms. And for most people, that means having financial freedom.
Being an affiliate marketer I often think about making money online and how it all fits into my personal walk with God. This brings me to the matter of Stewardship and Community.
It’s kind of ironic though, the Bible tells us that, spiritually speaking, no one is free (financially or spiritually). In Romans 6, Paul explains that we are all slaves. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Those who are slaves to sin cannot free themselves from it, but once we are freed from the penalty and power of sin through the cross, we become a different kind of slave, and in that slavery, we find complete peace and true freedom in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21.
How’s that for financial freedom?
In the Bible, the “greater good” often overrides the rights or best interest of the individual. Examples include Jesus commanding His followers to give all of their possessions to the poor and Old Testament priests sacrificing their animals on an altar. The greatest example would be God sacrificing His only Son on the cross to offer us salvation. It is clear that the Gospel is inherently sacrificial.
This relates to stewardship because when we reflect on how we can manage our resources, we often think of preserving them rather than sharing them or giving them away. But true biblical stewardship holds that Christians have a responsibility to our groups, families, communities, and humanity as a whole. We must steward, or manage our people for the collective good and lead others in an honorable direction.
Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” In other words, love looks like a sacrifice and the way we treat others matters. As trustees of our time and talents as well as of the culture and values in the society around us, it’s a good idea to occasionally ask ourselves if we are actively seeking to carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters in Christ and to lead our fellow man in the right direction.
One way to do this is by sharing the gospel. In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus commanded His followers to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This charge is known as the great commission, and it is one of the major responsibilities that God gave His followers. Another way is by caring about the physical plight of our fellow man, from our next-door neighbor to our brothers and sisters living in other nations with different backgrounds and beliefs. When we share our resources as biblical stewards, the focus is on serving God rather than self. Giving our money to the poor makes more sense when we realize it was not our money in the first place, we are mere stewards.