Freedom is never partial

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. (John 8:31-36)

Remain faithful to his teachings - then you will know the truth that truly sets you free. We might say freedom is just a bit conditional - it requires faithfulness to the teachings of Christ. Sometimes we trust in all kinds of 'other things' to help us 'live free', but religious pursuit without right relationship with God is just a pursuit without a proper aim. What things are you a slave to today? What beliefs hold you back from really pursuing God as you should? When we begin to explore the answers to those two things, we might just begin to see how 'bound' we really are - like slaves.

Truth has a way of setting us free, but we must desire freedom. For a very long time, I struggled with very negative thoughts about myself. I didn't see myself as 'worth much', so I never really thought others could see me any differently. Somewhere in my early twenties, God showed me the truth - that I was lovely in his eyes, and that my 'value' or 'worth' was not anything close to what I had set myself up to believe. In fact, it was much greater than I had told myself repeatedly all those years. The moment I began to trust God to reveal my 'true value', the journey toward really being free happened. 

Some of us latch onto things others have declared to us to be 'truth', but we never 'test the truth' to see if it really matches what God says about the matter. We just go on believing a lie because we don't put forth the effort to discover the truth. Jesus told his followers they had to 'remain faithful' to his teachings. That meant they had to apply themselves to not only hearing them but getting them into their hearts and minds so they could affect the way they lived. Truth should affect choices - it also affects perceptions. What we perceive about ourselves, and others is oftentimes incorrect. We need that 'perception' to be set right.

When we begin to embrace what God says about us, we begin a journey from slavery into freedom. It is not a freedom to do as we please, but to begin to do what pleases him. In so doing, we find ourselves not 'doing' because we are told to do something, but 'doing' because we genuinely know that in 'doing' we find absolute freedom and purpose. The slave 'does' because he is told to, but the free man 'does' because he wants to. Begin to get God's word into your mind and see if it doesn't begin to affect your heart. Once it does, your actions will be transformed. We are set free to live free - not partially, but totally. Just sayin!

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