“I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments“ (Psalm 119:45).
William Wilberforce worked to abolish slavery. He led a campaign, forged his way as a politician and ended up introducing a bill that was later passed by the British Parliament in 1807.
He became interested in social reform, in improving working conditions in factories and several other projects.
He introduced eighteen motions to abolish slave trading. Many people supported him and when the conditions in which slaves had to travel became better known, they awakened many dormant consciences.
Sadly, the fact the bill was passed and slavery was abolished didn’t necessarily free slaves immediately. They had to wait another twenty-six years.
Wilberforce’s actions actually had a lasting impact on society and promoted other kinds of reform in his country and other places where slavery was also a reality.
How easy it is to enjoy freedom and even want to defend it! How hard it may seem to live it out in a balanced way! The topic of freedom is very closely related to our nature as created beings.
Just as it happened back then, the fact we’ve been granted freedom and salvation doesn’t necessarily imply we’ve immediately set free. Sometimes it takes a long process of becoming aware of what God has given us, what He offers us forever; and of beginning to live accordingly.
«The government of God is not, as Satan would make it appear, founded upon a blind submission, an unreasoning control. [On the contrary,] It appeals to the intellect and the conscience…. God does not force the will of His creatures. He cannot accept an homage that is not willingly and intelligently given. A mere forced submission would prevent all real development of mind or character; it would make man a mere automaton He desires that man, the crowning work of His creative power, shall reach the highest possible development.
He sets before us the height of blessing to which He desires to bring us through His grace. He invites us to give ourselves to Him, that He may work His will in us. It remains for us to choose whether we will be set free from the bondage of sin, to share the glorious liberty of the sons of God» (Steps to Christ, ch. 5, p. 43).
Today, instead of being just robots, may we understand God’s concept of freedom.