The pandemic evolved into a nasty face-off between governments and the people they were elected to serve. Which brought to mind how fortunate we are as Christians knowing we have a high priest who deeply cares for us and hears our concerns (Hebrews 4:14-16), so that we’re not drawn into hurtful and divisive mud slinging, and nor are we contributing to the already overheated rhetoric being spewed out by social and news media. We have all that we need – as Peter phrases it – to “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires,” 2 Peter 1:4.
And how deeply thankful I am for that, because I could just as easily yell in defiance, “My life, my choice, my freedom – so back off!” I’ve come to realize, however, that all three of those claims, “my life, my choice, and my freedom” are redundant in the kingdom of God. I don’t have to defend them or base my emotional well being on them. My life, for instance, is totally secure eternally because my life is now ”hidden with Christ” (Colossians 3:3), I’m “united with Christ in his resurrection” (Romans 6;5), and I’m “seated with him (already) in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6). My life into eternity, and my worries in this life too, therefore, have been totally taken care of.
But how about “my choice”? Surely one’s freedom of choice is sacred, and given to us by God, right? Yes, but evil is way too powerful for us to make right choices. There’s only one human who truly had the freedom to choose, and that was Jesus. And fortunately, he’s thoroughly willing to live his ability to make right choices in me. So that’s a worry off my mind too.
Ah but, what about “freedom”? Surely, no one should have such control over us that we are subject to their whims and psychoses. But millions have died fighting for freedom against such tyranny – which is ironic, because if you’re dead you don’t get to experience that freedom yourself, do you? And meanwhile, Jesus said it’s the truth that makes us free, not fighting. So long as I’ve got the truth, then, I’m free. So that worry is taken care of too.
So I looked in Scripture for how Christians dealt with government resorting to unsavoury tactics, and discovered their (Christian) concern wasn’t their personal freedom, it was the freedom to get the good news about Jesus to the public (Acts 4:17-20). Any threat to that and they went to God to deal with it, and in no uncertain terms too (verses 23-28).
Paul said the same thing in 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 as well: “Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread…and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men.”
That’s our concern, then, not crying in defiance, “My life, my choice, my freedom – so back off!”