“Freedom is never free…”
~ Author unknown
In spite of living in a country where freedom is assumed, valued and celebrated, do you ever feel
Perhaps a child has made a devastating choice leading to family-affecting consequence; economic fallout from job loss has eroded your savings, and worse, your husband’s confidence; your “fairytale marriage” is fragile facade to unimaginable shame-shaded secrets; mountainous debt threatens loss of home or more; deteriorating health of you or your loved ones is threatening to suffocate hope; you’ve lost your identity and in making comparisons to others, you feel less-then or odd man out or…
fear of [fill-in-the-blank] is hindering you, not just from taking the next step, but in even seeing that it’s right in front of you.
And then you swirl in a sea of self-condemnation and guilt for your own unfaithfulness and not trusting God “enough”.
Largely, these are feelings not facts, a result of naval gazing or focusing on circumstances instead of the simple remedy God offers to align rightly perception with reality~
“Therefore…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2
I said simple…not easy.
* * *
How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson
Considering the Fourth of July, the day our nation commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, our proclamation to be free from Great Britain’s rule, I’ve been wondering–
What is it in the heart of man that screams
“YOU CAN’T BE THE BOSS OF ME!”?
As a parent, it’s crucial to nurture and encourage age-appropriate independence in your children; if not, you’ll be tying shoes and wiping behinds the rest of your life! Teaching them responsible independence will serve them well the rest of their life. What this looks like at four is vastly different from age 12, and at 17 it’s downright terrifying! But this is only part of the equation. Parents must nudge their babies out of the nest, gently and little by little, lessening their children’s dependence on them so eventually they can function on their own.
The wise parent will simultaneously encourage DEPENDENCE on Christ.
But this isn’t just about parenting–it’s about you…it’s about me! Are we resisting a surrendered life, a life dependent on God? A life where we’re in control (or think we are…) but leaves us feeling imprisoned by circumstance or indecision or self absorption? A life in defiance of what God asks of us…?
Disobedience has its consequences.
Could it be that a natural consequence of not “fixing our eyes on Jesus” means bondage to the things we’re beholding?
I read Jefferson’s quote through a “Kingdom lens–“How little do [believers] know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which [those outside of Christ] don’t enjoy!
According to Ephesians, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing…. Can you comprehend the magnitude of this generosity? It blows my mind!
Freedom is one of these amazing spiritual blessings from God, fulfilled for us in Christ. The paradox? Though it’s free, it comes with a cost to us: surrender of control and dependence on God. You know this but can we be reminded too often–it’s about relationship, not rules!
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galations 5:13-14
Yes…love! Now, that’s my Declaration of Dependence! What about you?
Photo credit: Robin DanceLeave a Comment
Holley Gerth says
This a a fresh new perspective on this holiday, Robin! Even as someone without kids, it’s a great reminder. LOVE as my declaration of independence, I’m with you, girl!! XOXO
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
Anna B says
I loved this – thanks for taking the time to really think about what freedom means, and share your thoughts with us! I especially enjoyed the Gal 5:13-14 at the end – freedom is not an end in itself – we have to DO something with it!
I do think there might be a type in your Christian re-phrasing of Jefferson. Did you mean to say ‘which those outside of Christ *don’t* enjoy’?
Blessings to you on this holiday!
Kathy @ Beautiful Mornings says
It is so hard for the human heart outside Christ to understand that dependence on Him brings freedom, and I am thankful that the Spirit in us as believers teaches us this truth and leads us as we walk in our freedom, a freedom that is indescribable and beyond words. God’s ways are always a mystery, where else in the world does dependence = freedom, but in Christ alone? Thank God, Jesus came to set us free!
Robin, you said it much better, and thanks for the reminder of what our freedom means to us as believers dependent on our Lord.
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
Well, I think you have quite a way with words, too :).
One of the attributes I most appreciate about God is His great mystery–there is NO explanation sufficient to describe him…and though it’s frustrating at times, I’m glad. Otherwise, it would make this life of faith ordinary and within our control. Which is downright kingdom-contrary!
Anna B says
Robin – LOL – glad to help – although I about died laughing when I realized I had a typo in the word ‘typo’ (I put ‘type’).
Kathy – I love what you said! In a very independent world, it’s really hard for folks to realize that dependence is freedom. I tell people that growing up physically is a process of increasing independence, but growing up spiritually is a process of increasing *dependence*!
You remind me of a lesson I learned some years ago when my heel was shattered in a freak accident. I was non-weight-bearing for three months, and, living alone, needed a wheelchair to get around. It’s very difficult to carry things when you’re on crutches! Though dependent upon that wheelchair for mobility, it also made me independent: I could get from room to room, carry things on my lap or hooked onto a handle. It was a wonderful metaphor for God: simultaneously dependent and independent because of his love.
At a time when the economy shut my husband’s business, affected his confidence, taken a toll on his health and wreaked havoc with our finances as well as our prospects, this reminder is soooo timely.
Robin, Thank you for the sharing a focused perspective on our fabulous holiday. As the parent of a teenager, finding the appropriate balance feels frightening and I am so thankful to have the guidance of God laid out for me(when I am paying attention anyway). I love celebrating the opportunity of our country and the freedom God has given us.
I also want to thank you for not being afraid to share your heart. Your post on marriage was one I needed to hear and I am so blessed that you were not discouraged by your doubts to write it out. 🙂 You are awesome!!