Skip to main content

True Freedom

If you have ever just gone about doing whatever it was you felt like doing without any real concern for how it would end, or what it may bring for the long run, you probably have come to the conclusion this way of "living free" isn't really "freedom" at all.  In fact, the more you do whatever it is you want to do without regard to the consequences, the more difficult it is to work your way back from where those indiscretions let you end up.  If you don't believe me, remember the last time you worked hard at changing the way you ate, losing a few pounds in the process.  Then remember the day you chose to eat just a little treat or two, then the next, and then the larger portions, etc.  In the end, you probably not only put on the weight you lost, but gained a few more pounds in the process.  It wasn't "that big of a deal" when you were indulging, but now that the jeans no longer fit and the buttons are not quite meeting in the middle, you might just realize it has become a "big deal".  In truth, every compromise is a big deal, even the small ones.  

As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end. But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.  (Romans 6:20-23 MSG)

Right thinking and right living are linked to abiding freedom.  If we see the link between how we think and what we do, that is half the battle in changing what it is we are trying to see made different in our lives.  When we only attempt to change what it is we are doing without going after the root of our thinking, we will get a little bit down the road to change, but we will never quite arrive at the point of breaking free of what it is we want to leave behind.  Most of our thinking is directly related to who it is we are listening to in the first place.  Listen to a catchy tune just once and see if it doesn't turn over and over in your head a while.  You may not remember all the words in the right order, but you remember something from the tune and you find it just bouncing around in your mind repeatedly.  This is the power of advertising. They use tunes, jingles, catch-phrases, etc., designed to get us thinking about their product enough that we will buy it.  They want what we think to affect our actions at the store!

Freedom is more than an outcome of one particular action - it is a lifestyle. As we engage in actions frequently enough, they either reinforce our freedom or they clearly reveal our "servitude" toward something.  Don't believe me?  Why do you think huge elephants can be made to stay in a small radius under the circus tents?  It isn't because they don't know there are wide open spaces - they can see those.  It isn't because they lack the energy to break free - they are huge and powerful creatures.  It is because they have lived with the short leash for so long they don't believe anything else is possible any longer.  They don't go beyond their leash limits simply because they "feel" bound.  They begin to act as bound the first time they acknowledge the limits of the leash and then they reinforce this impression over and over each time they tug a little against the leash.  It presents a little pressure in resistance, so they stay put.  We are kind of like that sometimes - we get "bound" by some emotional, spiritual, or physical "leash" and then we give in each and every time we feel the resistance when we try to break free of its hold.

As our writer points out, the "leash" which binds us to some particular course of action doesn't seem all that hard to handle until you look at where it will lead you down the road - the "pension" of sin is death.  God doesn't ask us to change our actions - he asks us to change our thought.  He directs us to change our focus - from doing whatever seems good at the moment to listening to his still, small voice directing us to what will actually produce good down the road.  When the elephant has pulled against the leash long enough, he gives up.  In fact, the trainer may actually be able to remove the leash and just leave the "bracelet" around the elephant's leg.  The elephant will stay in the same area just because he "believes" he is bound to the leash. Some of us are a little like the elephant - we have been set free, but we still feel bound - because of how we see ourselves.  The elephant sees himself as bound to stay in the same area because he doesn't realize the removal of the chain which acted as his leash actually set him free to move outside of what had become his limited area.  The reminders of his being bound remained because the bracelet remained.  For many of us, we still see ourselves as bound to the old way of living life and making decisions because we see the "impression" of the old still hanging on.

The good news is that the bracelet is not what bound us to the past way of living - it was the chain!  As long as we just focus on the "impression" of the old still being a part of us, we will never move outside of the place in our lives where we have been bound for so many years.  The "bond" we have with the old has been removed - we are free to move toward the new.  The way we think determines a lot about how we move.  Focus on the weight of the past long enough (the bracelet) and you will only feel the weight each time you go to move. Focus on the fact the chain is no longer there, and you might just begin to take a few steps forward.  When you do, you will no longer feel the resistance.  Yes, the reminders of the past are still there (the bracelet) - they give you the impression you cannot really break free.  But...the chain to what held us so bound to our past has been removed in Christ.  In time, the bracelet will no longer give us any concern, simply because we are brought into the wide open spaces of true freedom.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow