What does it mean to be free? Where is freedom?
Can we find it? How do we find it? Who is a free person?
What do they look like? How does a free person live their life?
I want to take a look at this word Freedom and talk about what it really means to be free.
Freedom can mean many things to many different types of people. Whether it’s freedom from political persecution, freedom from physical restraint, immunity and civil liberty or simply the power to exercise choice and decision without constraint; freedom is a powerful state of being which we all crave and for that matter deserve.
I lived the life of a people-pleaser most of my life; to the point that I was living my life for everyone else. I was a social chameleon trying to be all things to all people.
In early adulthood my husband and I were in a denominational church that put a lot of emphasis on service. Together we taught 4th grade Sunday school for years, I taught preschool choir and sang in the adult choir, not to mention caring for aging family members. I worked hard to be the ideal wife, mother and citizen. All while my husband was climbing the corporate ladder of success; working 60+ hours a week with a 3 hour round trip commute to our suburban home.
We were practicing Christians living a “Christian” lifestyle, but were we free? Was I free? Looking back, I would say no. I was in deep bondage to what I thought others expected of me and of the expectations I had on myself. They weren’t real expectations, but they felt real to me and I lived my life accordingly.
Where does a person go from here to find true freedom?
Not long after this, my life took a dark turn that led to a lifestyle filled with sin and addictions. The “selfless” people-pleasing life I had been living built up so much resentment that I exploded into a monster that no one who had known me would’ve ever recognized. I was lost in my own pain with nowhere to turn.
I was searching… but what for?
Freedom for me began to mean I could do whatever I wanted to do, no matter how it affected people around me…
Freedom to be myself on my terms…
Freedom to be who I wanted to be no matter what anyone said or thought…
It was all about my freedom.
It’s a very narcissistic mindset, but one in which many live today.
In reality, my “freedom” brought with it the bondage of sexual addiction, drug and alcohol abuse, that lead to parties, orgies, affairs, wasted life and money. That “freedom” ultimately destroyed my life, my reputation, my family and nearly my marriage.
Where was this true freedom I so desperately desired?
Ironically, I ended up spending a month in jail, on a domestic assault charge, and found my way to the True Freedom.
Jesus Christ says, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… I assure you everyone who sins is a slave of sin…if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.” – John 8:32, 36 NLT
The note in The Life Recovery Bible to this verse states:
To be “set free” is to know the truth– the truth about our self and about Jesus our liberator. The truth is this: We are a slave to sin and powerless to manage our life effectively. With God’s truth as a standard for our moral inventory, we can recognize and confess our needs and struggles, our sins and addiction. As we confess these to God, to our self, and to at least one other person, we share the truth about our life. When we turn our broken life over to God, who alone can make us whole, we are again acknowledging the truth. These different applications of the truth can combine to set us free from sinful habits, chemical dependencies, and emotional bondage.
It is my prayer that in reading this column you can find your way to true freedom in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. God Bless You.
Question: Are you walking in true Freedom today? If not, what bondage is holding you captive?
Reach out to someone you can trust today and find the help you need. Don’t stay in your pain alone.