Freedom from Bondage

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Are you living in bondage?

Sometimes bondage is that which we willingly invite into our lives – dirty little secrets we hope nobody will ever find out about.  The horrible words we scream at our children when we are alone with them in an empty house, that we would never use out in public or when others are nearby.  The curses we mutter under our breath when we are frustrated with everyone and everything around us, because we feel entitled to something we are not receiving.  The jealousy that gets aroused in our hearts when somebody else seems to have it all, and we feed that jealousy with a steady diet of comparison, complaint, and cynicism.

Sometimes bondage is an addiction, a situation where we took the first step but now feel powerless to escape.  Alcoholism.  Pornography.  Eating disorders.  Drugs.

Sometimes bondage can be to depression, anxiety, fear – things that seem to overwhelm and drown us in their grasp.

And sometimes bondage is something inflicted on us, that we are conditioned to respond to in a certain way.  Abuse.  Degradation.  Shame.  Humiliation.  Isolation.

God didn’t create me to be loved.

I am worthless.

I don’t deserve to be treated with love and respect, because I am a sinner.

God values some things more than He values my freedom and dignity.

All of these are lies that I believed.  Lies that kept me trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of depression, anxiety, shame and pain.

Any person can eat a healthy diet, exercise often, attend church regularly, and still be living in bondage.  Bondage begins with a lie.  Sometimes it’s a lie we tell ourselves, sometimes it is a lie we hear from others, but always it is a lie we believe.  Lies will keep us trapped, unable to live in the “truth that will set you free.”  It is so important, to truly be free and healthy, to be able to recognize lies in our lives.  But recognizing the lies is only the first step.  The lies need to be replaced by truth.  After the weeds are pulled up, you are left with a barren patch of dirt – fertile ground for the next wind-blown seed of deception to land and flourish.  But if you replace that weed with a flower, surrounding it with fertilizer and nutrients, and come back every day to check on it and nourish it, you will be able to see the first tiny sprout of weed poking up through the dirt and eliminate it.  Not only that, but tending the ground will become a joy as you watch the new life grow and radiate beauty.

So what is the next step, if there are lies and bondage in your life?

Expose them.  Don’t hide them away, hoping they will wilt and suffocate if you keep them away from the light.  They will thrive and multiply the more you try and keep them hidden.  Trust someone else, a wise and godly friend or counselor, and shine that light on the ugliness – it’s necessary to see clearly to do the work of uprooting.

Then replant.  Choose your truth from the Word of God.  Find truth that speaks life and healing to your soul, and don’t let it go!  Memorize it, recite it, pray it, believe it.

Nourish and feed it every day.  Maybe this means outside help like a support group, counseling sessions, an accountability partner.  Maybe it means working through your emotions by journaling or speaking with a friend.  Make sure you are taking time to feed your soul through prayer and the Word of God.  Keep on adding to yourself!

My hope for every person in this world is that they would be able to know that it truly is for their freedom that Christ came to this world and gave His life.  That they would be able to live life abundant, with springs of living water flowing from within.  That they would know the truth that can set them free.

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