(Sunset in Monroe - 6/17/08)
“Freedom” is always relative to constraints. There is no such thing as freedom without boundaries. Boundary-less “freedom” is “anarchy,” which is a severe bondage and a great limiting of freedom.
One example of freedom-with-constraints is the game of chess. Arguably, chess is the greatest board game of all time. The reason for this is, precisely, its rules. I’ve never heard a chess master complain about the rules of chess being too limiting or constricting. In chess, it seems as if no two games, at least among chess masters, are the same. It’s a brilliant set of constraints that allow for such great freedom.
The same is true of sports and science and culture and life itself. It’s true of your personal life. Are you a free person? This question is about one’s inner self, and is not, essentially, about external constraints. One could live in America and be in deep inner bondage; one could live under a repressive government and be free within. Every government constrains. All constraints bring greater or less freedom, running on a continuum between bondage and liberation.
The answer to your own inner freedom relates to the kind of things that constrain your heart, which things have to do with the purpose of your soul. Find out who made you and for what purpose you have been made, live within these purposeful parameters, and you will experience freedom. You will also be who you were intended to be, which is to say you will live authentically. (Note: if atheism were true there would be no constraints, and hence no true freedom.)
Jesus said “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In Luke 4:18 Jesus spoke his own life-purpose as he said: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” Paul wrote, in Romans 8:21, that one day “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
You are a child of God. Created by God. Made by God and for God. Find your true identity and the result is “glorious freedom.”