In the course of the history, one of the concepts which has been largely studied is the concept of freedom. Through time, there has been different dimensions and contexts to freedom. Essentially in philosophical terms, freedom is associated with free will balanced by moral responsibility, not constrained by any undue or unjust means. Yet the term “free will” can be advocated as freedom of thought innate to the human mind engaged at that particular point of time. Yet to the most reasonable person, freedom doesn’t essentially mean to do whatever one wants. Freedom also stands for securing to everyone an equal chance at life and pursuit of happiness.
In reality, there are two concepts to freedom. While negative freedom is about being free of any interference or constraints; positive freedom is being free to self-actualize or being free from internal constraints. It is important to comprehend the distinction between both as they often need to strike a very delicate balance. Through experience we realize that undue disruption and loss of positive momentum can be caused if freedom is misused.
Although the christian freedom is on similar lines, strongly bordering on the sense of moral and social responsibility; it also urges to do good on the widest scale possible with the intent to build up the church and the Word of God. In simple terms, if a man has his heart on the salvation, it make a big impact to regulate his conduct in context of the world. Although there may not be any specific laws or rules to follow in the code of his attire, his entertainments, his work or style of living; if the underlying manner of life is contrary to doing good to glorify The Word of God, then to him that particular manner or behavior is improper. Such a concept of freedom is a better guideline to direct life in this world than would be exact minute positive statutes to regulate everything.
If we go through the verses from 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, “23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
While the original context of the verse was with respect to the limits of Christian Freedom with the way of life, written in the letter to the Corinthians; the underlying message is that the Christian way is not to simply exercise one’s rights. Instead the freedom we attain through Christ should be used to help others and not hurt or bring down the morale of others. However, it doesn’t imply that man is not in any instance to disregard his own welfare, happiness, or salvation nor that man owes no regard or duty to himself or family. Neither does it allow man to neglect his responsibility both to family and himself to advance the welfare of others. It implies that when no direct law or guidelines are laid down, our actions should be governed by the Word of God to show the salvation to others and not to behave for one’s ease or comfort. For on taking care of our fellow beings, the actions we do should bring glory to God’s name. We’ll be able to enjoy the true sense of Christian freedom when we use it not only for our sake, but as an example for cues of conduct to others.
On the other hand, we may not be able to please everyone. Being a doormat is difficult, for by trying to please everyone, we please nobody. However that doesn’t mean to do something we have to impose our decisions or changes on others. It is a very delicate balance to strike between true freedom as well as getting the work done. The Golden Rule which holds true then and even now is,”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a simple rule which can be easily put into practice. It can aid as a balance-wheel in the various actions and plans of our lives. If everyone would adopt this rule, there would be less danger of going wrong and ensure that our lives on this earth would not be in vain.