My teenage daughter recently started her first “real” job. She has also delivered newspapers — with my help — babysat and helped at camp, so I can’t say that she hasn’t worked before. Still, this is the first type of regular-working, paycheck kind of job that she’s had and I’m pleased that she’s taken some initiative and stepped out into the working world.
Because of this step and the increased responsibilities and privileges it brings, we’ve talked about how she needs to manage her school and home schedules. It’s an interesting dilemma she now faces as she’s able to earn money (which is great for a teenager!) yet also is less free to do things. The other day we talked about how you have to learn to prioritize things in your life because not everything you want to do is worth doing.
Her situation is a good example of what freedom can mean in our lives. In this culture, we hear a lot of talk about freedoms we have and ones we think are being restricted. In our society you’ll often hear people come down on Christians as “imposing their views” on people, as if telling biblical truths somehow limits your freedom to live as you choose. But there is a freedom in Christianity that limits yet liberates you more than anything else can.
In his excellent book “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism,” Timothy Keller addresses claims like these and others and shows that those who state them are really not seeing the issues clearly or as clearly as they think they do. Below is a brief audio excerpt of a message Keller gave in 2006 at Redeemer Church in New York as part of a series entitled “The Trouble with Christianity: Why it’s so Hard to Believe it.” Those messages were the basis of “The Reason for God.” Go here to hear the entire message.
By way of background, in the excerpt Keller is talking about freedom based on Galatians 2:4-16 where Paul confronts Peter about his treatment of Gentile believers.