Part 2 of 3
Thus far, reference has been made to define liberty in terms of what it is not. A proper understanding of liberty should begin in an exclusive sense, that is to say, we approach the definition by initially ruling out imperfect notions of what it might be, so that we can focus more intently upon what it truly is. To sum up Part 1 in a single sentence, I would say that liberty is not license in a Libertarian sense, governed merely by the will of the heart,
because true freedom requires an active conscience which self-governs behavior. In an earlier era, the concept of “Let your conscience be your guide” comes to mind, as my father was fond of saying.
While the concept of liberty resides in the human heart, it also resides primarily in the human soul. And it is in the pure human soul that we find the clearest expression of liberty, where license is governed by conscience. In other words, a soul which is truly free, has achieved maximum freedom (from sin) by exercising perfect self-control over the human will. The practice of virtue is the means of achieving this degree of self-control. Virtue simply means using our conscience to do what is right, and to avoid what is wrong. This can also be called “ordered liberty.” Our practice of any good behavior will begin incrementally, progressing from “imperfect” to “more perfect” during our lifetime, if we desire to orient our will according to God’s will. In the end, He will be our judge.