Perspective

The freedom to flourish

What holds people back from the perfect job? What would it take for them to find it?

By: Dr. Art Lindsley

Sometimes the answer seems so simple. If they weren’t held back by circumstances – a difficult boss, a lack of education or the right contacts, an opportunity that never came – they might find the perfect fit.

We all crave the power to make our own choices, pursue our interests, and succeed at what we are designed to do. Deeply woven into our being is a desire to be free. The fight for freedom dates back to the beginning of time. God created the Earth so that it might flourish, progress, and reflect his glory. He created image bearers to cultivate his goodness and to prosper. That happens most when we are free to be who he created us to be.

We all crave the power to make our own choices, pursue our interests, and succeed at what we are designed to do.

As sinners born into a broken world, we face the bondage of sin, day in and day out. As Christians, freedom begins with Christ. Christ has set us free from the bondage of sin to be exactly who we were made to be in the way God created us to flourish.

Living freely doesn’t necessarily mean living without any constraints. At the root of the concept, freedom means living out our purpose in the way we were designed to do it. If we were all made with the same gifts and expectations, there would be no variety of great doctors, accountants, lawyers, teachers, musicians, artists, and bankers. We would all struggle to be even mediocre in our work. Instead, we are each uniquely gifted to be excellent at different jobs.

Every person has the God–given right to discover their greatest potential, experience the fruits of labor, and find fulfillment in hard work. This desire and right is intrinsic to our design, embedded in the dignity God instilled in us, which is realized most when we work and create. In our creativity and work, we image our creator and fulfill his purpose.

Every person has the God–given right to discover their greatest potential, experience the fruits of labor, and find fulfillment in hard work.

We were all made specifically by God to play a vital role in his kingdom with our unique gifts. To answer his call on our lives, we must be free to exercise our gifts to the best of our ability. This is success.

When we are free to pursue the work God has created us to do, we flourish. In the absence of these freedoms, there is poverty. Throughout history, whole cultures have experienced abject poverty due to the loss of social, political, economic, and religious freedoms. History proves that societies, economies, and individuals thrive and prosper with opportunities to pursue their strengths. This is what God intended.

Flourishing is our goal. Stewarding our gifts and skills in the way God intended helps bring about greater flourishing for both individuals and society. To apply stewardship in every aspect of our lives, we need to live in an environment that celebrates the created order and protects freedom, so that we may pursue our personal callings.

Without freedom, prosperity and flourishing are stifled.

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