Read Galatians 5:1
When I think of freedom, I envision the ability to fly. I think that is because flying reflects a lack of constraints. I also tend to think of butterflies, because I picture a butterfly struggling to release itself from a cocoon, then bursting out. Then, after a brief rest, it has the ability to fly and ride along the waves of the wind. What comes to mind when you think of freedom?
As a Christian, I tend to think of freedom as not letting society dictate my actions or words – even if what I’m thinking, saying or doing isn’t popular with what’s in. I also see that having freedom means I’m not a slave to how others view me. Experiencing complete freedom in Christ means having a desire to show Christ’s love to others, while at the same time not being concerned that others love me. Looking at it that way, I see I have some work to do.
The apostle Paul was a man who spent a lot of time being tortured and in prison because of his faith; however, he would say he was a free man. In a letter he wrote to the church of Philippi he said, “I know what is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12) Wow. Can you imagine being content, no matter what was going on around you or happening to you? Once again, I see I have some work to do.
Stop and think. You may find that there are some things that hold you captive. Nearly all of us hold onto things that, in turn, hold onto us – in other words, hold us captive. Some things that stand in the way of our freedom are
- Choosing not to forgive (holding onto a grudge)
- Addictions (food, alcohol, drugs, television, pornography, cigarettes, etc.)
- Lies (“I don’t deserve to be happy.” “I am not loveable.”)
- Unhealthy relationships
- Social Media
- Desire to please others, instead of pleasing God
Even good, healthy habits can turn into something that takes away our freedom. For athletes, when rest days become rare or non-existent, or our friends and family have moved down our priority list, or when our next workout is the only thing on our minds, our healthy habit may be turning into an unhealthy addiction. God made us with a mind, body and soul. It is important that we care for all aspects of ourselves. I pray you have found freedom in Christ and have set aside anything that holds you captive, so you may fly without constraints.