Growing up in the U.S., I was taught that I lived in the land of the free. I was taught that I had all kinds of freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion. What I quickly learned as a child was that freedom of speech did not necessarily apply in my household. There were certain words I was not allowed to use and there were consequences if I used those words.
As a mom, I’ve learned that I still don’t have complete freedom of speech. Yes, I can say whatever I want, but often times there is a cost to using a certain choice of words. My words carry a great deal of weight with my kids; they can build my children up and they can also tear them down.
The Jews told Jesus that they were already free, but Jesus reminds them in verse 34 that whoever commits a sin is a slave of sin. My freedom of speech can still enslave me. When I sin with my words, I have misused my freedom and have become a slave to sin. Thanks be to God, I can repent and ask God to break off the shackles of slavery and return me to a state of freedom.
What are areas where you think you are free, but instead you are actually being held in slavery?
Heavenly Father, you give us true freedom. Help us to use our free will to find ways to be in a state of freedom and to avoid choosing to enter into a state of sin.