Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Liberation of Restraint

The fuel of the sexual liberation movement was the promise of a freedom that would lead to pleasure. Restricting oneself to one sexual partner in a marriage covenant was considered an unnecessary restraint that robbed us of pleasure. True pleasure is found in doing whatever I want with whoever I want – or such the logic went.

The billions of dollars in monthly credit card debt expose the same philosophy in personal economics. Unbridled spending leads to happiness, does it not? I need what is being offered if I am to be truly happy so I will buy now what I do not have money to purchase.

The same principle is evident all over our society – in marriages, computer use, job place ethics, and disasters like the subprime lending crash in the USA.

Most importantly, the principle of throwing off all restraint is evident in our own hearts, when Christians sin and live for the glory of self above all else.

The truth is that restraint leads to freedom. And the abandonment of self-control leads to the worst slavery of all.

Sexually, there is no greater freedom than that enjoyed between a loving husband and wife. No comparisons, shared diseases to mask or false expectations – just a growing freedom to know and be known.

Monetarily, there is no greater freedom than living within one’s means. Rather than the guilt and remorse of owning a garage (or “storage unit”) filled with non-lifegiving toys, the Christian who carefully spends less money than he earns is free indeed.

Spiritually, we know the same. Denying self and putting sin to death by the Spirit leads to spiritual freedom “and that abundantly!”

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the obvious since our enemy is constantly washing the world with his lies – godly restraint leads to true freedom. Only the Devil will tell you otherwise.