The Cost of Freedom

What Freedom Looks Like

It seems one of the primary uses of social media posts is for humans to “have their say”.

I certainly use social media for that reason. But in exercising the freedom of giving my opinion, I also have a responsibility.

There are multiple translations of Matthew 7:16a.

The New International Version is “By their fruit you will recognize them.”

Another translation indicates the “them” in the verse is preachers.

I focus on the word “fruit”. It makes me think of the fruit of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22

I want to be recognized as living those traits. In life, and on social media.

I try, with God’s help, to act and speak in a way that reflects those characteristics.

Who Pays the Price of Freedom?

If I fail, the damage is inflicted on my reputation. But even if my reputation is completely destroyed, that isn’t the worst of it.

The greater damage is to people who once trusted that my words and actions carried with them love and kindness and goodness. What if that was their evidence that those qualities exist in the world? One unkind act, or word, or post, or meme is all it takes to destroy that trust and belief.

And even more significantly, since I claim to be a child of the King, will others believe He’s the same way I am? Will they believe that God is loving, or kind, or patient, or good? Or will my words and actions be what others use to support false beliefs about God?

Having my say carries consequences in this life, and maybe into eternity. And others pay the cost for my freedom of speech.

The Price I Pay for Freedom

So when I exercise the freedom of “having my say”, it’s not okay for me to say anything I want.

The cost of that particular freedom is paid by others — and is way too high.

I must be responsible.

And loving, joyful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and in control of my words and actions.

What helps you share positive, helpful content on social media?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.

May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

4 thoughts on “The Cost of Freedom

  1. Thank you for your post. I believe being a Christ follower helps me. It is the reason I have a hope to share with others.

  2. Humm… I think loving God helps me share positive content. I’m actually not on social media much. I mostly just do my blog. I don’t have much of a following, but I persist in faithfulness to it, because if it helps just one person, I am satisfied.

    • Thanks for sharing. Yes, the goal is to be helpful, regardless of the number who are helped.

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