Freedom reveals itself in connectedness

29. June 2020In DevotionalBy Karsten Risseeuw3 Minutes

Freedom is not the absence of limitations. It rather has to do with relationships. More precisely: It has to do with us and how we fulfill our lives in this world.

It is irrelevant whether it concerns the relationship to ourselves, to our fellow men, our life partner and spouse, or also the relationship to God. You even could enhance this idea to our work and obligations and to many more «things». Freedom is, how we experience and define any kind of relationship, be it personal or impersonal.

True freedom is the opposite of selfishness. It has more to do with self awareness and the freedom to commit. Commitment is the opposite of co-dependency, where people “need each other” and only commit to get the “prize of attention”. Truly free people commit and love because they acknowledge their uniqueness and confirm the otherness of other people involved. Love your neighbor as yourself.

In every relationship and in every respect we can only ever bring in ourselves. Martin Buber wrote about relationships:

“The free man is the one who wants without arbitrariness. He believes in reality; that is: he believes in the real connection of the real duality of I and you. He believes in destiny and that it needs him to fulfill it.”
(Martin Buber, I and Thou)

The free man is the man who believes that he is required for the relationship. Neither growth nor freedom is possible without connection, without relationship. It needs both decisions and commitment, but not as demarcation, but as relationship reality. Commitment as connectedness. It is not «freedom from», but «freedom to be and to do».

Freedom – what we grasp of it – reveals itself straight out of any relationship. What we do is showing the level of our freedom.

«For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.»
Ephesians 3:14-19

«For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.»
Galatians 5:13