Disciplined Freedom

1 Corinthians 10:19-23 (23)

Disciplined freedom.  In the early stages of the Iraq War, the accepted method for Navy Seals to collect and cataloge evidence in the battlefield was to ransack a building, smash furniture, tear down curtains to uncover hidden weapons and so on.  US Navy Seal officer Jocko Willink did not believe this was the most efficient way to accomplish the task.  In time, his assistant platoon commander drew up a plan which Willink approved and attempted to implement.  Initially it was almost universally rejected.  The plan seemed to be overly cautious.  In the heat of the battle it appeared too complex.  Willink eventually convinced his men that adoption of the plan as standard operating procedure was actually suited for the chaos of their missions.

After a few test runs they discovered they could lower their evidence sweep from 45 minutes to under 20.  Willink was in command of Task Unit Bruiser during the 2006 Battle of Ramadi and his method was in part responsible for his unit becoming the most decorated special-operations unit during the Iraq War.  In his book ”Extreme Ownership:  How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win,” he explains the apparent paradox of liberation through structure. 

This same principle is what Paul described as essential to the Christian exercise of love.  Although the cross may have freed us from bondage to the law, liberty in love demands that we exercise disciplined freedom.  Our liberty in Christ must never recklessly damage the spirit of those who are overly conscientious in their attempt to live a holy life.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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