Sometimes the answer seems so simple. If you weren’t held back by circumstances – a difficult boss, more education, the right contacts, a missed opportunity – you could find the perfect fit.
We all crave the power to make our own choices, pursue our interests, and succeed at what we are designed to do. Deeply woven into our being is a desire to be free. The fight for freedom dates back to the beginning of time. God created the Earth so that it may flourish, progress, and reflect his glory. He created image bearers to cultivate his goodness and to prosper. That happens most when we are free to be who he created us to be.
As sinners born into a broken world, we face the bondage of sin, day in and day out. As Christians, freedom begins with Christ. Christ has set us free from the bondage of sin to be exactly who we were made to be in the way God created us to flourish.
Living freely does not necessarily mean living without any constraints. At the root of the concept, freedom means living out our purpose in the way we were designed to do it. If we were all made with the same gifts and expectations, there would be no great doctors, accountants, lawyers, teachers, musicians, artists, and bankers. We would all struggle to be even mediocre in our work. Instead, we are each uniquely gifted to be excellent at different jobs.
Every person has the God-given right to discover their greatest potential, experience the fruits of labor, and find fulfillment in hard work. This desire and right is intrinsic in our design, embedded with a dignity God instilled in us that is realized most when we work and create. In our creativity and work, we image our creator and fulfill his purpose.
You were made specifically by God to play a vital role in his kingdom with your unique gifts. To answer his call on our life, you must be free to exercise your gifts to the best of your ability. This is success.
When we are free to pursue the work God has created us to do, we flourish. In the absence of these freedoms, there is poverty. Throughout history, whole cultures have experienced abject poverty due to the loss of social, political, economic, and religious freedoms. History proves that societies, economies, and individuals thrive and prosper with opportunities to pursue their strengths. This is what God intended.
Flourishing is our goal. Stewarding our gifts and skills in the way God intended helps bring about greater flourishing for both individuals and society. To apply stewardship in every aspect of our lives, we need to live in an environment that celebrates the created order and protects freedom so that we may pursue our personal callings.
Without freedom, prosperity and flourishing are stifled.