Free? What Is This “Free” of which You Speak?

Breath on Paper small group is taking a break between semesters. We’ll be back June 12th.

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So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

John 8:36

[WARNING: This blogger is having a rough week. Or it could be hormones. But isn’t that the same thing? Bless you, dear reader, for bearing with her.]

Right. So how deep does that go, exactly—free from what? I did a quick word search through the writings of Paul in the New Testament to get an idea of what we’re free from:
the law, sin, death, and the yoke of bondage.

My primary area of bondage is in my emotions. I can go to bed feeling fine and inexplicably wake up in a funk. And instead of taking my thoughts captive like a good little Christian, I go with it! I’m crying during my quiet-time, moping around the office, hiding in my cube during lunch. And NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

Sometimes, if I search through my memory, I can find what triggered the lousy mood. But, can I just say, if it wasn’t significant enough for me to remember initially, how big a deal can it really be? And yet, I let it determine my day. Sometimes, I think I do better understanding my emotions and handling them in a healthy way when something actually is going wrong. It’s the day-to-day grind that trips me up more than anything.

If I were fond of war analogies, I would say that I’m being worn down by a war of attrition rather than losing to full-frontal assaults by the enemy of my soul. I’m not being “taken out,” but I am often shut down, meaning, I don’t feel at liberty to share the good stuff with those around me. I could be genuinely kind and encouraging, but all too often, I lack the courage. I’m listening to the lies rather than the truth…

And I wonder, how much longer until I get fed up with it? If I wanted it to end, it would be over. I could choose to believe the truth about what God says. But on some level, clearly, I still believe the lies. Or at least some of them. I’ve had plenty of them ripped out by the roots over the past few years, but there are a few stubborn ones with roots that are DEEP. So deep I can’t see them or name them, but they are there, still pulling my strings far too often.

This is where I’m at: duking it out with my own unbelief. Life would look very different if I fully embraced the truth, really, fully embraced it. We go through church too often throwing verses like this around greeting-card-style. And if it were real in our lives, well, we wouldn’t be worried about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or the mortgage payment or much else, really. Everything pales in comparison to this truth.

What would you do if you were really free from (fill in the blank)? Fear? Worry about money? Self-obsession? Apathy? Well, guess what? If you’re in Christ, since all these things fall under the broad category of sin, then you are free, now, right where you sit. Try to get your mind and heart around that! Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I’m still getting mine to light.


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IMG_7616Joni Butler has called the ‘Ham home since 2012. Officially, she’s here for employment but has found a home here at Breath. Though an avid diarist for years, this is her first writing gig. Jesus is her best friend and she loves pursuing Him passionately.  You can read more about Joni in her Breath Bio. 

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