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Liberty and Responsibility

By Stan Lightfoot

A significant portion of our society, including a large number of professing believers, experience a disconnect when the terms “liberty” and “responsibility” are used together. They think that liberty is “freedom to do what I want unencumbered by restrictions.” They think liberty is what I want to do, while responsibility is what I have to do. Responsibility, so the thinking goes, gets in the way of freedom. However, Paul argued in Galatians 5:13 that the two go hand-in-hand. Liberty is not the freedom to do whatever I want to do, as if it makes no difference how much damage I do in the process. Liberty is the freedom to do what I ought to do—“through love [to] serve one another.” In reality, there is no liberty without responsibility—just anarchy, in our lives, our churches, and our society.

Stan Lightfoot is pastor of Rustic Hills Baptist Church in Colorado Springs. This article was first posted to his blog, and is reposted here by permission.