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My 8 year old niece has a hamster called Cheese. Cheese has stayed at our house a few times now but the first time will always be remembered. About three o’clock in the morning I woke up to some scratching in our bedroom. We got up and flicked the lights on and there was Cheese, bold as brass, in the middle of the room. He had got out of his cage, jumped off the three foot high side board, scaled the stairs and made his way in to our room. He apparently liked us so much that he used his freedom to come find us!

Cheese could have gone anywhere. He could have found a hidey hole, got out of the house, literally been never seen again. But he didn’t. He ended up in our room and ultimately back in his cage. His brief illusion of freedom was quickly shattered.

We have funny ideas about freedom and particularly free will. To modern day understanding freedom is often about being free to do the opposite of what we perceive God wants. Freedom starts with a choice, but we have to realise that whatever we use our freedom to choose we have them submitted our freedom to that choice. If we use our freedom to choose to please ourselves, we become enslaved to the notions of individualism and consumerism. If we use our freedom to choose justice we are not longer free to go against justice. We might not realise straight away that we have lost the very thing we valued most, but eventually our choices will define us. Our ‘freedom’ will have confined us in very narrow ways.

But if we use our freedom to choose God, He gives us this freedom back, and at every point in our lives we are free to choose His way or our way. God is the only one who repays our freely made choices with more freedom. The only one who will not enslave us. There were two trees in the garden for a reason, what will you use you freedom to choose today?

1 Corinthians 6:12 ‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but I will not be mastered by anything.’