Looking for Freedom
Throughout 2020 we have seen all kinds of change happening in our lives, from wearing masks to social distancing to adjusting where we go. But there is one thing that has changed perhaps more than anything else. What is it? “Freedom”
Subtly our freedoms have been taken away from us because of the pandemic. We are no longer free to travel as we once were. We are not free to see loved ones who may be at high risk. We are not free to gather in large groups. Whether you agree or not, elected officials are telling us what we can and can’t do. The freedoms that we once enjoyed are no longer present. Now you may be thinking; once the pandemic is gone, we will get our freedoms back. Maybe, but once you have given those freedoms away or simply lost them, it is much more difficult to regain them.
In the book of Galatians, Paul talks about freedom. This is what he writes, You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (5:13) Paul reminds us that we are to live in freedom; we are called to be free. But the real question is, are we? What we pursue in life will determine whether we experience freedom or not. If we pursue things that feed our own desires and appetites, we will soon discover that we are no longer free. That is what Paul is talking about when he says, indulging the flesh. For example, we can start drinking with friends because it’s socially acceptable, making us feel good. If we do not have healthy boundaries, we can find ourselves drinking more and more, looking for acceptance or medicating when we experience stress or anxiety. Over time our once enjoyable freedom has become something that we are dependent on. This can happen with pills, porn., gambling, food, money, or other unhealthy behaviors. It feels good; it satisfies us, and before we know it, the freedom that we once enjoyed is holding us captive. I think that we can all identify with this.
What can we do if we find ourselves stuck? It’s not enough to try to stop in our own strength. My guess is, many of us have tried that in the past and failed. In the book, True Freedom, I talk about finding freedom through surrender.
Surrender is admitting defeat or weakness. It’s recognizing that we can’t do it ourselves. Personally, this has been a struggle for me. I have bought into the false belief that if I try harder, then I can change. So, I try harder and fail. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Believing that we can do it ourselves or not asking others for help is called pride. Pride is not our friend, it is our enemy.
The truth is, we don’t have to try harder or battle for our freedom because Christ already won that battle. It’s up to us to decide or choose to surrender. Surrender is where freedom begins. If you have found that your life doesn’t feel free or that certain freedoms that you once enjoyed are gone, pick up my book, and see how you can find True Freedom. “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36)