What images come to mind when you think of freedom? This month we celebrate our freedom as a country on July Fourth. For most Americans today the holiday is represented by fireworks, parades and cookouts along with the display of the American flag. We know that freedom is more than these things, but what does it really mean to be free? According to the Oxford Dictionary, freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants; the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved, the state of not being sub. We are free to choose. How will we choose to spend our time?
With the privilege of freedom there comes responsibility. We can abuse our privilege by only claiming our freedoms without regard to others. It is easy to take our freedom for granted if we have never lived without it. The Bible exhorts us to use our freedom to serve others. In Galatians 5:13 we read,”For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another “. The irony is that in using our freedom to serve others rather than ourselves, we are set free from ourselves. Interestingly, there are numerous benefits of volunteering that have been proven scientifically to be beneficial to your health. Of course, God has always know what is best for us. Here are six benefits to volunteering listed by the Mayo Clinic:
- Decreases risk of depression
- A sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills
- Helps people stay physically and mentally active
- Reduces stress levels
- May help you live longer
There is a sense of connection we get through volunteering that provides us with purpose; something greater than ourselves. Consider where God has called you to serve others.