In the United States, the Fourth of July is set aside as a holiday to celebrate freedom, often with fireworks of joy. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims liberty as one of man’s “inalienable rights.” In countries that are still working toward freedom, the idea of achieving it is a constant hope among most citizens.
But what does it mean to be free? Certainly freedom means immunity from political oppression in its many forms.
From a Christian Science perspective, freedom means much more. It’s a divine right. Each of us, as God’s sons and daughters, has been endowed with the spiritual sense to discern and value freedom. This kind of liberty means being free from all the claims of material existence and its so-called laws, including freedom from sin, disease, and, ultimately, death.
But is this an ideal regarding freedom—far off, elusive, or even possible to attain? Are there practical steps that can be taken toward demonstrating a greater degree of freedom in our lives here and now?
I’ve found I’ve been able to realize increasing freedom in my life by devoting thought to growing in my understanding of God, divine Love. That has involved a willingness to obey God, listen to His guidance, and follow the example of Christ Jesus.
In my endeavor to demonstrate freedom more fully, the spiritual concept that each of us has the divine right to be free, not just in some ways, but in all ways, has meant a lot. It has inspired me to pray to work toward freedom from physical problems, emotional conundrums, and professional impasses. I’m endeavoring to demonstrate more consistently that, as an idea of God, I am actually free from fear and other weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Through the study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, I have learned much about the process of overcoming these challenges.
Sometimes those struggling with a physical problem or a relationship problem have lost sight of their right to be free. It feels as if something is keeping them mired in the problem and that there may be no way out. But Christ Jesus promised: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). I have witnessed how awakening to the right to freedom is a good first step in finding healing.
Mrs. Eddy emphasizes the importance of actively working to realize one’s right to freedom: “Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: ‘Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!’ Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free! This is your divine right” (Science and Health, p. 227).
The way Jesus marked out—the power of Christ, Truth—guides us, shows us the way to achieve our right to be free. Jesus proved that so-called physical laws do not have power when he healed the sick, walked on the water, raised the dead, and experienced resurrection. As Jesus said to his listeners, following his freeing of the woman taken in adultery: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
In her writings, Eddy affirmed that the achievement of freedom is assured, although it can take dedication, persistence, and humility. She says: “Truth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner is the Soul-inspired motto, ‘Slavery is abolished.’ The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love.... Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free” (Science and Health, pp. 224–225).
By trusting and following the guidance of Truth and Love, we will realize our divine right to freedom.
Katherine Stephen lives in Washington, DC.
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