“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Do you remember when you were younger, and you thought or said something like this: “I can’t wait ‘til I’m older so I can do whatever I want to do”? At that point in life being older was not the real longing. It was more freedom. I remember when my nephew and I used to ride our bikes on our street in the neighborhood. After reaching a certain age or so, we were given the liberty to roam the entire development. Freedom and Liberty. These are two privileges that everybody looks forward to and sometimes expects to have. So how are they different? Liberty is a state of being separated, unrestricted or left alone. Liberty is unrestricted access within a confined environment. It is contained to some extent. Freedom, however, is virtually uncontrolled. It is a sense of belonging, being committed and choosing to live autonomously.
In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus tells us there are two roads. One that is easy and many follow it and one that is more difficult to find and follow, and only a few choose it. The first path leads to destruction, while the second leads to life. So how does liberty and freedom play into all of this? Liberty is the road that is taken the most. It’s that “RUSH” of excitement I get when I feel I can be my own person, do what I want to do with no obligations or consequences. In the end, it leads to living the high life, but living it all alone. The benefits of liberty are self-gratifying for a time, but they soon diminish. Freedom, however, is the sense of being committed by choice, rather than coercion. It involves discernment and wisdom. While liberty (and being “liberated”) wants to live life freely yet solitarily, freedom recognizes that having the ability to make choices for oneself doesn’t always guarantee satisfaction and that living a moderate life (not always having the glitz and glam) with close friends is ultimately more satisfying than a high, yet empty life.
Proverbs 9:6 says, “Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.” Its about choosing the right path. The path that looks pleasing to the eye, easy to follow and often quite crowded. Or the path that is not so readily seen, difficult to stay on and less traveled by. So while both liberty and freedom are essentially privileges everyone wants to have, they have to be used correctly. I’ve learned that my liberty is used best when I use it to set myself apart from this WORLD. My freedom is put to use through the choice I make to “belong” or attach myself to Christ; to draw my strength from Him.
Robert Frost said the road he chose, “the one less traveled” led to all the difference. Christ also says in His Sermon on the Mount that “small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” I desire to be one of those people who have not only found the narrow road, but who have kept to the path, even though it is more difficult. For in the end, Jesus says, it leads to life. The benefits of following this path exceedingly outweigh the troubles that I may find along the way. It all begins with that first step…
TO THE KING!!!