I read this verse this morning:
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
1 Peter 2.16 (ESV)
The kind of freedom won for us in Christ is not that we can do anything. The word translated by the ESV as ‘servants’ is actually douloi, which perhaps should be translated ‘slaves’.
Too often we exercise our ‘freedom’ for our own selfish gains, citing ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘it’s a free country’ as our reasons for doing so. Instead, Peter tells us we should use our freedom for good, to serve God (and other people). We have been freed for obedience, freed to serve the one we were made to serve.
In Gone (by U2) Bono sings these lines, some of my all-time favourites:
You hurt yourself,
you hurt your lover,
but then you discover
what you thought was freedom
just was greed.
We have been freed so we don’t have to be greedy any more, we can live unselfish lives. If only more people used their freedom in the way it was intended, rather than to cover up evil.