When God had first created man, he had already endowed us with the gift of free will, a.k.a the ability to choose, and make decisions on when to do this, or that, as well as the intellectual capacity and rationale to make the right choice, and lead a life wherein man can direct himself towards the good path, and ultimately, towards God. Through this “freedom of choice” man is able to shape his own life by making his preferred choices, but since man is merely human, he does make some rash decisions and occasional mistakes, in which case, man sins. But why does God let us have free will, if it can cause us to sin or to stray from the right path? It is simply because God respects the freedom of his creation, and he even knows a way to derive good from it. He wants us to be able to share in his wisdom, and goodness, and maybe, to make us see for ourselves, that his way is the best way.
Like I said, God has given us free will, although he is not the cause of the alternative choice of good, which is moral evil. (”No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies” –Sirach 15:20) This gift of Human freedom is also the cause of growth and maturity of both the mind and soul.
Though free will is the ability to choose, and gives us the ability to make either the wrong or right decision, we must remember that: “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to 'the slavery of sin.’” Or that: “Either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church “And Jesus said. ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits a sin is a slave of sin.’”-John 8:34 Any freedom does indeed have limitations. You must be able to let others experience freedom as well. That is why we have laws. We must remember that they aren’t necessarily created to limit our freedom. They are there to remind us about how we must share our God-given gift of free will to those that surround us, through letting them use their same free will as well.
This is also where our conscience comes in. Our conscience provides us with morals when we don’t have our books with us. This enables us to draw out the good in a situation and eventually help us take the right path.
So, in this case, what is absolute freedom? Is this the complete and utter freedom wherein we make the choices we want when we want? Does this mean we can say no all the time? Absolute does indeed mean total and complete. The answer to this lies in that absolute freedom is the ability to choose what is good and experience, as well as earn human dignity in doing this. “If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will.”-Sirach15:15. Saying no is an abuse of our freedom, and having to choose what is good all the time does not oppose our freedom of choice. The more aware we are of doing what is true and good, the more graces we receive, and eventually attain absolute freedom. “If you remain in my word…and you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”- John 8:31-33 Jesus life is the very example of how a human life should be lived. Jesus too was tempted, and he had conquered temptation. Since he was fully human (yet fully God) and was able to overcome it, this shows that we too are given the power to resist the calling of sin. “ I have told you this so that you might have peace in me and in the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John Jesus lived a sin-free life. At no point did he become a slave of sin. He said himself the ff: “If you remain in my word…and you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”- John 8:31-33 His whole life was a yes to the will of God. Through all this, we can say that absolute freedom is achieved through following Gods will.