Love is freedom or what I learned about God from the Avett Brothers


“It isn’t freedom to care less or walk the tightrope of right and wrong without remorse. The motive of a righteous heart is not to get away with anything. The motive of the righteous is to be loved and to love! That’s what we’ve all been wanting for all of history. That’s the freedom Jesus died for. We can now love each other well, because it’s who we really are.”

This is a quote from the third chapter of the book “The Cure: What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you.” This quote takes its cue from one of my favorite scripture found in Galatians 5.

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. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭13-14‬)

These verses are constantly on my mind and I want them to permeate from my very being. We were truly made to be loved and in turn love one another. There’s a song by one of my favorite bands that also speaks to these verses. The song is called “Ill with Want” by the Avett Brothers. The song addresses something that most if not all of us deal with, the struggle and folly of trying to gain more and more to be satisfied. This can be anything from possessions, friends, recognition, or even a distorted version of love. The singer says, “the more I have, the more I think I’m almost where I need to be, if only I could get a little more.” The problem with things that don’t satisfy us, is that no matter how much we get of them, they will continue to not satisfy.

Ill with want

Later the singer references the above verse by singing, “free is not your right to choose, it’s answering what’s asked of you, to give the love you find until it’s gone.” The good news is that if we are living by the opening quote of this post, we will never run out of this love because we are continually tapped into the source of unconditional love. In another one of their songs “Murder in the City,” he speaks more about love over possessions. The singer poses a hypothetical situation in which he is murdered. He gives instructions of what to do if such a situation were to occur. “Don’t go revenging in my name.” “Don’t bother with all my belongings.” “Make sure my mother knew I loved her; make sure my sister knows the same.” And finally, “Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”

murder in the city

To finish with a quote from the same chapter of the book referenced earlier.

“Nothing you believe and depend upon is more magnificently freeing than this single truth: You are no longer who you were, even on your worst day. Trusting and leaning upon ‘Christ in you’ is the source of every shred of strength, joy, healing, and peace.”

Once we grasp this, it is easy to see ourselves as lovable; and if we can see ourselves as lovable in spite of our past transgressions, we can view our neighbors the same way no matter their transgressions. What a wonderful cycle to be caught in. No longer ill with wanting of things that could never satisfy, but set free by the unconditional love of God and in turn loving others

4 Responses to “Love is freedom or what I learned about God from the Avett Brothers”

  1. Rick Dawson says:

    I was beginning to wonder if you were going to post again before I no longer could. 🙂

    Good stuff, as always, is worth waiting for. Thanks, Philip!
    Rick Dawson recently posted..Breathing RoomMy Profile

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Yay!! A blog post by Phil! And about music! Awesome! 🙂
    Sarah Salter recently posted..Through the NightMy Profile